One Family's Story

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I share this story with permission from a mom on a quest to recover from a severe mold exposure in their home.

My husband had a heart attack at the age of 46. My then 11-year-old suffered from gallbladder disease and at the age of 12 had it removed. My 16-year-old son had "fatty liver" and was told his liver was like a 60-year-old alcoholic when he hadn't ever touched alcohol. He had severe nosebleeds and learning problems even though he was very intelligent and advanced as a child and young teen. He suffered from anxiety and occasional anger and he continually gained weight. One of our daughters had severe stomach pain, migraine headaches every day, eyesight problems, memory problems, and at its worst, at age 17, woke up and couldn't read, write or talk. She was in more or less a zombie state. I had asthma so severely at night that I would wake up from a sound sleep gasping for breath.

The trail of doctors didn't have any answers as to why all this was happening. They ordered more and more tests and insisted they were all separate incidences. One doctor even accused me of causing the mental trauma in our youngest daughter.

My husband and I had always prayed together, but on the verge of a complete breakdown, we sat together one night and pleaded with God to reveal what was going on. In answer to our prayer, God said that it was "chemical in nature." We went to bed that night wondering what on earth that meant.

The next morning, my husband decided to go down to the crawl space to hook up a furnace and found black mold growing on the underside of the floor sheathing, and there was moisture on the plastic on the ground. I immediately looked up symptoms of mold on the internet, and we all had multiple symptoms. Our youngest had the most. Out of 100 symptoms, she had all but 8 of them. We knew this was the problem and we knew that God had revealed it to us! We checked our most severely affected children's rooms and found mold growing in the carpet padding. They lived in the basement of our house and the concrete wicked moisture into the pads. It was growing in an outside wall of our bedroom. None of it was visible from a normal living view. It was all hidden from our sight, but just as deadly!

Not knowing what to do, and because of the lack of medical insurance and the mounting doctor bills, we researched the internet on how to eradicate the mold ourselves. As anyone knows that researches the internet regarding mold, there are conflicting reports of what to do. I checked at the environmental protection agency in our town and was told that they do not have anything to do with mold anymore. We put a fan in the crawl space to dry it out and with that spread the mold spores throughout the entire house.

Several people offered our family homes to live in, either free or at reduced rent, but all of the homes had issues that prevented us from moving in. We all ended up living in one room of a motel. Through trial and error, and many, many hours of research, we found that we couldn't keep anything that was in our house. Everything had to go! My husband, who is a builder, found a mold remediation company that was willing to walk him through the process of "safely" completely gutting our house and making it "livable" again.

Insurance would not cover any of this. We used all of the money we had and could make, trying to "fix" the problem so we would all be healthy again and return to a "normal" life. We had to take our kids out of the school because it too had mold issues. The school knew we had mold issues at home, so blamed the mold on us and refused to offer teaching assistance for our children. I was too sick to fight the system. I couldn't work because I was too sick by this time, and also too tied up with trying to keep the family from falling apart physically and mentally. (We also have multiple chemical sensitivities.)

Our good friends are still our friends and basically understood, but so many people couldn't figure out why we just didn't get on with life. Our lives were and are turned upside down, with no end in sight. Our children, while much better, especially with memory and intelligence/brain function, still suffer from digestion problems and body aches and pains, and still can't go in certain places without being affected.

Some days are really hard, especially when it pertains to our children's health, but most days aren't as hard as they once were. Not because our struggle isn't still there, but because we are used to the struggle.