September 3, 2018 4:34 pm
Updated: September 3, 2018 8:51 pm

Kelowna man dying from terminal lung disease shares warning for workers


Speaking publicly about his ordeal will be one of Kerry Laramee’s final acts.

However, the Kelowna man wanted to share his story as a warning to other workers before he passes away.

The 59 year-old former construction worker is dying.

He suffers from a terminal lung disease after breathing in dust particles during his long career in construction.

Signs that there was something wrong with his lungs first surfaced in the mid-1990s.

READ MORE: Bee-Clean employee dies at WCB building in Edmonton

“I thought I was having a heart attack, but it was the wrong side. I went to KGH and they said I have a black spot on my lung,” Kerry Laramee recalled.

Watch: Extended excerpts from Kerry and Debra Laramees’ interview with reporter Kelly Hayes.

Despite the prognosis, Laramee kept working because he feared losing his job.

“If I made waves, I would be fired,” Kerry said.

However, as Kerry’s final days draw near, he wants others who find themselves in a work environment where they believe their health is at risk, to speak up.

“People do have a voice. They can say no to their employer without the threat of being fired,” Kerry said.

At Kerry’s side is his wife Debra who echoes her husband’s message that your job could cost you your life.

“It’s pretty tough right now,” Debra Laramee said.

“We want to prevent somebody else from having someone they love go through this.”

With that message they hope might save a life, the Laramees have decided to let nature takes its course.

READ MORE: Serious injury at workplace results in hefty fine for Saskatoon company

On Tuesday, doctors will disconnect his oxygen so Kerry can die in peace.

A sad ending to a life that could have been extended had Kerry spoke out.

His last wish is that other workers will.

WATCH: The importance of workplace safety

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