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Old 07-04-2009, 10:03 AM   #1
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5 Years in house with mold

Hello,

I will try to shorten my story although there is five years worth of litigation, enormous attorney fees, and sickness.

Several weeks ago, I was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia, violent vomiting, I was in and out of consciousness, was hallucinating and was told I was severely dehydrated, had no electrolytes in my system, but the ct scan only showed pneumonia. My husband and I were certain it was from the mold in our home. We purchased a half million dollar home in 2004 - we paid cash and were in a very good financial situation. My father was dying in the ICU and my mother's Alzheimers became worse and my husband was the only one who could handle her. Therefore we decided to hire a home inspector who gave the house a clean bill of health.

The day after we moved in (Easter) we had a brand new factory installed washer and dryer, our daughter did a load of wash and very soon our lower level, which included two bedrooms, family room and 2 baths. was filled with sewage from our septic tank.

We called the company who did the home inspection and they promised they would make things right. 7 months later our septic tank was replaced.

At that point, my husband who was a builder, began to check the house. There were so many things wrong I can't list them all. The worst incident was when my daughter turned the garbage disposal on and fire shot up the wall. The same thing happened to our 4 year old grandson. I developed severe memory loss and horrible red rashes as well as constant pneumonia and sinus headaches, severe osteoporosis, I used a nebulizer daily, I was always out of breath. I suffered from severe depression, extreme fatigue, sore throat, our eyes burned constantly, I had frequent diarrhea, night sweats, I couldn't talk to anyone as I would forget what I was saying in the middle of the conversation, I had to record TV shows because I couldn't keep my mind on the show and had to keep rerunning it, I was constantlly confused and anxious and couldn't walk up and down my stairs without stopping to rest. I had numerous other illnesses and doctors were quick to say it was because I lost my parents so close together. I cannot name the number of times I tried to explain my symptoms to doctors.

We were told when the house was purchased that the rugs had never been cleaned. When we pulled up the carpet, we saw that they lied. The company we called for the cleanup said they had been there before. There was different colored padding in some areas and they even spread baking soda on the pads to keep the odor down. There was an obvious water problem as the rug downstairs was constantly wet.

We immediately contacted an attorney and this case has gone on for 5 years. I have lost my memory and ability to work (I was a software developer), I lost my business and we began struggling financially.

My husband opened a portion of drywall downstairs to take photos of the mold without a mask. The next day my lovebirds died.

I was released from the hospital on a Friday and told never to enter the house again and my husband died the next Sunday. We are still waiting for the toxicology results. I am devastated. We spent the last 15 years together 24 hours a day. He was my soulmate and the only thing keeping me going now are my kids.

We live in the midwest - Missouri and it gets cold. All homes should be built to code but we discovered there is no frostwall under the house. He built a 3 story house on nothing but dirt and we've had wet carpeting for the last 4 years.

There is no doubt in my mind that the house killed my husband - it almost killed me.

I had a different insurance company up until the last year when I switched to another. I have no idea if my insurance with cover anything.

My present attorney seems to have no sense of urgency and our case has been continued once again.

I am trying to find an attorney who will pounce on a wrongful death suit. I had an autopsy performed but the toxicology reports won't be in for a few weeks. I spoke with the coroner who asked me if I knew my husband had extensive heart disease which was not present 6 months prior when he became very ill and started coughing up blood. He finally had a clean bill of health and another ct scan. When I told his doctor about what I had learned he was shocked and said my 50 year old husband did not have it 6 months or a year ago when he had his physical.

I am completely alone and am completely consumed with anger, not only the builder who lives next door but the attorneys who let this go on so long. Had we left a couple of years ago, he may still be alive but perhaps that is on us. We simply could not afford two mortgages. I have since told the mortgage company who put the house in foreclosure to do what they need to do but I need a statement of some sort releasing me of liability if anyone walks in the house and dies.

I had 20 people with masks on trying to get my valuables out of my home for a week and every single one of them had symptoms of some sort from coughing to headaches to watery eyes, bloody noses, etc.

I have an appointment with an infectuous disease dr. on the 21st. He is not a mold expert but is the only one my dr. said comes close. I am not certain what sort of tests need to be run but I am determined to make them believe I have mold poisoning.

Sorry for the length but I hope someone can help me find out what tests the dr needs to do.

Thanks for reading

 
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Old 07-04-2009, 01:07 PM   #2
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

To say that I sympathize with you would be an understatement. I am so sorry that you have gone through such hell, through no fault of your own. I can relate to your experience because I suffer from Environmental Illness (Chemical Sensitivity) and Heart Failure, among other health problems; and I've got to live in a virtual bubble environment to survive with a reasonable quality of life. I wish you the best with your lawsuit, and with your health in the future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by travis5 View Post
I spoke with the coroner who asked me if I knew my husband had extensive heart disease which was not present 6 months prior when he became very ill and started coughing up blood. He finally had a clean bill of health and another ct scan. When I told his doctor about what I had learned he was shocked and said my 50 year old husband did not have it 6 months or a year ago when he had his physical.
With Heart Failure, and other forms of Heart Disease, what makes the disease(s) progressively worse, and eventually ends in death, is not the damage to the heart, per-se, but the excess hormones (produced by the NeuroHormonal System) and cytokines (produced by the Immune System) that the body over-produces, in an attempt to get the heart and the circulatory system fully functional. What makes it worse is when one is also having an environmental reaction, which also causes the over-production of hormones and cytokines. These normally beneficial body chemicals are poisonous and damaging to ALL body organs, glands, nerves, etc., when over-produced.

I thought about this when I read about your awful experience, and thought that I would respond to your post.

Quote:
I have an appointment with an infectious disease dr. on the 21st. He is not a mold expert but is the only one my dr. said comes close. I am not certain what sort of tests need to be run but I am determined to make them believe I have mold poisoning.

Sorry for the length but I hope someone can help me find out what tests the dr needs to do.

Thanks for reading
Two of the best known "damaging" inflammatory cytokines are Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6). I have been told that they are a little expensive to test because they don't last long outside the body.

To test for the possibility of NeuroHormonal over-production, perhaps components of the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS), like Angiotensin I, Angiotensin II, Aldosterone and/or Cortisol?

I am not an expert, nor trained or educated in HealthCare, so I am just throwing out some ideas you might research and/or ask an expert like the infectious disease Doctor if testing these, and/or others, made any sense to him.

There are others on this board, like sharewithme, who have been dealing with mold problems for years, and I am sure that they will respond as soon as available. They know a lot more about mold than I do.

You might want to read some of sharewithme's posts regarding her health-related mold problems and solutions.

Best of luck and health to you for the future!
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⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

Last edited by Machaon; 07-04-2009 at 01:09 PM.

 
Old 07-04-2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Thank you so much for your reply. You are the very first knowledgeable person I've had to talk with. Are you permanently ill or are there any treatments available to make your life easier?

I hope this isn't how I'm going to live the rest of my life. I have crushed disks in my back (I've already had 3 disks repaired with donor bone) but he needed to go down 2 more. As a result, I am pretty sedentary. I'm on daily injections of Forteo to see if my bones improve enough for more surgery.

I hate complaining as I'm sure the people on this board have it worse than I do. I am anxious for the time to read the posts

When I was released from the hospital we were staying in hotels but my realtor found me an apartment month to month that's near my son and daughter. Then I can look for a home.

Again, thank you for your knowledge.

 
Old 07-27-2009, 08:05 PM   #4
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

I received the air quality results and while I cannot interpret all of them I am meeting with the inspector tomorrow. However the report contained high levels of Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, penicillium and a bacteria count of 480. The bacteria count I did interpret and a count of 201 to 500 is:

Severe. People with existing heart or respiratory illnesses may experience signification aggravation of their symptoms. There may also be widespread symptoms in the healthy population (e.g. eye irritation, wheezing, coughing, phlegm and sore throats.)

I am thinking this will be a significant addition to my lawsuit with the builder, especially since I am convinced this is what killed my husband. I should have the toxicology report within the next 2 weeks.

I am still experiencing symptoms since leaving the house a month and a half ago. I know I still have pnenmonia and when I can find a physician who is familiar with mold poisoning I will take him this report.

Any advise or comments are appreciated.

Thank you

 
Old 07-31-2009, 07:14 PM   #5
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Quote:
Originally Posted by travis5 View Post
I received the air quality results and while I cannot interpret all of them I am meeting with the inspector tomorrow. However the report contained high levels of Aspergillus, Stachybotrys, penicillium and a bacteria count of 480. The bacteria count I did interpret and a count of 201 to 500 is:
Stachybotrys can be deadly. Its toxin suppresses the immune system and can cause internal bleeding.

Stachybotrys usually will not develop indoors in the northern states unless moisture is present (trapped inside wall cavities and under flooring) for several months.

You have every basis for your lawsuit. There appears to be gross negligence on the part of several parties including the builder and the home inspection service.

I was in mold damage remediation years ago c. 1980's. Much has changed since then. Remediation back then for severe contamination meant gutting down to the foundation and frame, then drying and finally rebuilding. Tearing your home down and rebuilding may be more cost effective.

What has happened to you is criminal. I know it will not bring your beloved husband back, but perhaps a massive lawsuit might save someone else.

You might try consulting with firms that deal in mold remediation such as ServiceMaster, ServePro and similar operations. They have access to microbiologists and other PHd level specialists that may be able to help with legal testimonies.

It is possible after several years of "clean air" your memory and cognition may return sufficiently to develope software again. Be very careful around mold even at low levels. You most likely have become sensistized.

More than anything, my heart goes out to you. I hang out on the ADD board because that is what ails me. Your symptoms are worse than anything I have ever experienced. Sue the [very, very bad words].

Bob

 
Old 08-01-2009, 11:44 AM   #6
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Thanks for your reply Bob. I was beginning to think nobody was on this board.

I spoke frankly with the inspector who did the air quality test as well as the first and last inspections. He is an expert witness and will testify if it goes to a jury trial. He advised at this point, if I retained another attorney, it could be another 4 years of waiting.

We did find out that the builder's insurance company is one of the biggest and hopefully they won't let it go to trial. I'm certainly not greedy for money - as you said, nothing can bring my husband back. I just want enough to buy a house elsewhere and since I cannot work, something to live on.

My problem now is finding a physician who understands mold/fungi. My husband insisted that I be tested for mold when I was in the hospital. The nurses understood but we couldn't find a physician who was familiar with mold. We live in the midwest and there seems to be no one. I'm going to try Kansas City next.

My husband's toxicology report should be finished this week. At that point I may be able to persuade my attorney to start moving.

Again, thanks for your reply. It is nice to know there are others out there suffering with the same problem.

Suzanne

 
Old 08-02-2009, 10:45 AM   #7
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Suzanne,

I suspect that exposure to contaminated homes and building is the cause of the malaise, breathing problems and attention-deficit-disorder-like symptoms that many experience. The sufferers either blame something else or have no clue as to the source of their illness.

"Sick building syndrome" is the product of energy conservation building methods. Homes in the past were well ventilated; walls had no insulation, and windows and doors leaked air when shut and were open far more ofter before AC became standard. Incidentally, air conditioning spelled the demise of the American porch. We simply do not spend as much time on our decks (the reinvented porch) as was spent on porches in the past.

Now we have sophisticated ventilation systems that easily become contaminated, e.g., Legionnaires disease. Usually "sick building syndrome" goes undetected unless several people having the same symptoms can be traced back to having been in the same location. In some cases only one person in a contaminated house displays symptoms do to our different tolerances. That one person becomes the canary once used in coal mines to detect poisonous gases.

How many doctors will consider and investigate "sick building syndrome" as a possible source in otherwise unexplainable illness? I do not know the answer. If those physicians are few and far apart, that more likely is the "why" behind this board's low readership.

Bob

 
Old 08-04-2009, 10:46 PM   #8
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Bless you heart Travis5. I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sorry you lost your wonderful husband and that you have suffered so greatly. This is a horrible thing that has happened and very real. I believe you 100%!!
I became very sick in a rental home I lived in for 3 years. I could smell the mold coming through the vents. This old farm house was 100 years old. I should have known better. ugh! I bought some tests and mailed them in. I collected the air in petrie dishes and they grew mold spores. It was disgusting. Anyhow...my allergies were out of control. I ended up with hypothryroidism. I truly believe that house destroyed my thyroid. I am so mad and I can't prove it. I want to sue the landlord. He never did remove the mold. He just told me to move out. And then he move an older couple who smokes into the house. That mold can destroy and ruin a persons life. I say you should pursue a lawsuit!! People need to be held responsible for this.
Hang in there ok! Thoughts and prayers are with you!! Hugs!

 
Old 08-06-2009, 09:28 AM   #9
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Thanks for replying. I am not that worried about the lawsuit - only that it might take another 4 years and by that time I'll be out on the streets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TEdds83 View Post
..my allergies were out of control. I ended up with hypothryroidism. I truly believe that house destroyed my thyroid. I am so mad and I can't prove it. I want to sue the landlord. He never did remove the mold. He just told me to move out. And then he move an older couple who smokes into the house. That mold can destroy and ruin a persons life. I say you should pursue a lawsuit!!
I have armed myself with as much information as I can about mold. What I have found out is the homemade tests do not hold much credibility in court. Having a professional air quality test can be helpful as it breaks the molds down to penicillin, aspergillis, etc. We have so much moisture in our house that plants are growing between the second and third floors as well as the garage.

I am sorry you cannot get any kind of restitution. Do you have a dr. who understands mold/fungi? That has been my biggest problem. I can't find anyone in Missouri who understands. Most doctors will put the symptoms off on something else.

Again, thanks so much for replying.

 
Old 09-13-2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Hi Travis, I went on this board looking for answers to some health issues that my daughter is having and was certainly surprised to find your post and see that you also live in Springfield MO. <removed> I truly wish I knew someone who could help you. I am so sorry for all you've been through and hope that you do find help and a very aggressive attorney soon.

My daughter has been experiencing a myriad of symptoms including heart palpitations, fainting spells, seizures, sinus problems that she never had before, constant yeast infections and fatigue, and so far the doctors can't seem to find anything. I'm beginning to wonder if they are caused by something in her environment. Your post has definitely convinced me that we need an inspection on my daughters house. <removed>

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-13-2009 at 08:50 PM. Reason: do not ask for identifying information

 
Old 09-13-2009, 06:39 PM   #11
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Hi,

<removed> I have no idea what I'm going to do and it helps being close to my kids. I feel as though my life, as well as my husband, has been ripped away from me. I've been told that the toxins can stay in my system for decades so I fear I will have health issues the rest of my life.

I would recommend you have the air quality test done first. The test on our home revealed the bacteria level, as well as most other molds, came back dangerously high which means our home is uninhabitable. I have found a Dr in Springfield who specializes in environmental illnesses. His name is Charles Crist. My husband became very frustrated when I was in the hospital the week before he died. The doctors and nurses were convinced that the mold and bacteria in the house almost killed me and he wanted tests done to confirm that. We couldn't get a straight answer from anyone at the lake because no one was familiar with the symptoms. This dr told me that there is no test for mold toxins. There used to be a lab that tested but it was shut down. Even though he said my health problems were from the mold, there is no way to prove it in court.

The coroner is running a histology from tissue samples of my husband but he also told me not to get my hopes up as it is very difficult to prove.

I hope your daughter has not lived in the home for long. It is critical that you find a reputable inspector. After he does the test it takes about 14 days for the results. Obviously, don't forget to have your daughter take the results to the dr. It is very difficult to get in to see him as he has people from all over the country with appointments. I asked for the first cancellation and was lucky. It only took a couple of weeks to get in to see him.

I sincerely hope I have helped in some way. I understand how frustrating it is to find competent medical help. I just wish we had found out how bad our environment was before it took my husband's life.

Last edited by mod-anon; 09-13-2009 at 08:51 PM. Reason: please do not post anyone's contact information for any reason

 
Old 09-14-2009, 07:24 AM   #12
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Thank you so much for this help. I'm passing this information on to my daughter immediately and will keep you and your family in my prayers as you find a resolution to this horrific ordeal you are going through. Good luck and God bless.

 
Old 09-14-2009, 05:49 PM   #13
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Re: 5 Years in house with mold

Hi
I received permission from the administrator of this board and was told to ask my inspector if he minded having his info posted. His name is Bruce.




<Edited by Administrator>




Does your daughter feel better when she's not in the house? If she does improve, then that's a good indication her problems might be environmental.

I went back to the Lake today for a dr's appointment. My son tried to get some things out of the house and couldn't handle it. My inspector gave me the numbers of companies who rent respirators so I am hoping we can go back into the house for a short period of time.

Again, good luck to your daughter and I hope this helps.

Suzanne

Last edited by Administrator; 09-14-2009 at 08:47 PM. Reason: went beyond permission: only post within the Posting Rules.

 
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