'My dad's death is what brought me home,' concern widens over train derailment's effect on stress
Within this past month since the Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, the toll the event is taking on people's stress levels is starting to impact their health.
From concerns over safety of their homes to worries over their property values, 21 News spoke with one family who lost their father to a heart attack this week. They're pointing to the effects the train derailment caused on his health.
This comes as the Ohio Department of Health and the Columbiana County Health District released data showing 64% of respondents are showing signs of anxiety.
John Bosley Sr. lived in East Palestine and the surrounding area since he was a child, actively involved in the community while raising his three children in the area.
"My Father, 6 months ago before this happened, had a checkup with his heart doctor," explained Curtis Bosley to 21 News. "The doctor said he was looking great. He was healthy. He had life in front of him."
Bosley was planning to retire later in 2023, sell his Moore Street home, and move down south with his wife, Patti.
The toll the train derailment has taken on Bosley and his family was drastic because he was concerned over the safety and potential of declining property values.
During a regular day at work last Monday, February 20 John suffered from a massive heart attack. His family made the decision to take him off life support last Thursday, February 23.
"The unknowing of what this was causing really took a toll on my dad," Curtis added. "My dad even had concerns about the residue on his house. If I powerwash my house, where is this going to go? What do I do about it?"
"There's more that can happen in a situation like this than just physical attributes from the chemical burnoff or the runoff from the chemicals. There are stress levels we need to pay attention to," Curtis said.
"We aren't getting answers and someone needs to demand answers," said Jamie Cozza, Organizer with River Valley Organizing. "It's not okay that these people are getting sick."
Cozza recently moved from a West Virginia hotel to a space in Calcutta after she deemed her Taggart Street home unlivable. She's worried her 3 year old daughter's current respiratory and abdominal illness is from the derailment aftermath. She is currently being hospitalized at Akron Children's in Boardman.
"We got home from the EPA meeting last night," Cozza explained. "She was throwing up and coughing. I don't think it's a coincidence that the first day we move closer to East Palestine. She's having these symptoms that all the other kids are having."
These families tell 21 News just how much the derailment has changed their lives and is why Curtis believes his father is no longer on this Earth.
"Everybody's life was turned upside down in a heartbeat," Curtis added. "Everybody's still worried."
Bosley was a well-known figure in East Palestine. He took care of the baseball and soccer fields, was a former coach, a member of the East Palestine athletic boosters and was also a member of the East Palestine Moose Lodge and Eagles Aerie.
"I love coming home but unfortunately my dad's death is what brought me home," Curtis said, who now lives in Utah.
John leaves behind his wife, 3 children, 4 step children and several grandkids. Curtis hopes Norfolk Southern is held accountable for their actions and that the village and the people living there are not forgotten. A private memorial service will be held for Bosley Saturday in East Palestine.
Cozza updated 21 News Friday night that Akron Children's doctors can not prove her toddler's symptoms are from the derailment but she is being treated for her symptoms.