A Waikato dad fell chronically ill for six months after being exposed to toxic mould and meth contamination in his company car.
Now, he's fighting an uphill battle for compensation.
Wayne Roberts, 43, described to the Herald hopping in the old car in September last year and getting hit in the face with an "unpleasant musty smell".
"After an hour of driving the car I felt nauseous. The next day I was driving the car and my vision deteriorated and from there my symptoms got worse until I was rushed to hospital a week later."
His medical records, reviewed by the Herald, show he was diagnosed with Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in December, which occurs due to the inability to remove certain biotoxins, such as mould, from the body. ]
Documents from drug-testing company Resultz NZ in September show the Toyota Camry tested positive for meth, with the inspector stating: "The total [meth] contamination level of 4.07 ug/100cm2 in such a confined space may be harmful to occupants and users of the vehicle."
Further testing was done by mould inspectors. Medical records show Roberts' condition - which included symptoms of slurred speech, blurred vision, abdominal pain, stiffness and nausea - was likely due to mould and meth exposure from the company car.
However, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) has twice declined to cover his medical bills and loss of employment.
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The Government-funded agency said claims related to inhaling fungi could not be accepted unless a person or organisation has been prosecuted and convicted.
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A Worksafe spokeswoman said it had been notified about the case and was speaking to both parties.
The Bay of Plenty-based agriculture business would not comment on the matter. Roberts claimed they were refusing to take responsibility for his illness, and he was now considering legal action.
The Herald is not naming the company due to ongoing negotiations between Roberts' and his former company.
"It's been a nightmare. All the evidence is there regarding my illness being due to the mould and meth in the company car and still, six months on I'm fighting to be heard.
"It's like they [ACC and his employer] have no heart," Roberts told the Herald.
He said he wanted to tell his unique story to shed light on the issue and help prevent others from going through the same "soul-destroying fight".
A document signed by Dr Steve Joe, at Integrative Medicine in Hamilton, said: "His symptoms intensified every time he used the car and came on after 15 minutes in the car. His symptoms abated to some degree when he was not in the car.
"His history is suggestive that the car was the source of the mould exposure."
Another document, signed by Auckland immunology and allergy specialist Rohan Ameratunga, said: "His [Roberts] history is remarkable in that it appears to have deteriorated on exposure to the replacement car.
"Certainly, mould exposure could explain many of his symptoms.
"He tells me that the car did have traces of Methamphetamine and certainly, chemicals such as this could explain many of his symptoms."
From September last year to a week ago, Roberts has been unable to work because of his condition and during that time has been hospitalised another four times.
"It's had a huge impact on my life. It's been soul-destroying. Never in my life have a felt so low."
Roberts has been getting $300 each week from Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) for living costs but he says it's barely enough to cover rent and bills.
Meanwhile, medical bills - including GP visits, private specialist appointments and further testing- have been stacking up.
"I had to sell my daughter's horse, which crushed me and her."
"Everyone knows how sick I have been and how desperate I am to get compensation and they just don't care."
Roberts is now considering training to work in the health and safety employment industry.
"I don't want anyone to go through this - it's been an absolute nightmare."