In 1999 a family moved into what they thought was their dream home. The sprawling 22 room mansion on nearly 72 acres of land in the country seemed ideal for raising their young family. Until now they had enjoyed the city life, so this new prospect was something they both thought was an adventure and fantasy. However that dream come true would soon become a waking nightmare.
A toxic mold has crept into their home, and within little over a year the family was forced to leave their home. Almost like a grotesque still-life dishes were left in the sink, and the toys of their young children still set up in the living room. What had happened, and what lead up to this terror?
After moving into their new home, the couple’s four year old son began coughing blood. In addition he could not stand on his own, and suffered from debilitating stomach issues. With symptoms that ranged across the board the child was admitted to the local hospital for observation and fluids. After rounds of tests the doctors were stumped, what could be making this once utterly healthy young boy so ill? Worse yet was that his symptoms improved once he was in the hospital, but after a merry-go-round of home to hospital nothing was getting better.
That was until the husband got sick. It started first with dizziness and losing his short term memory: something a investment banker simply could not afford to lose.. However it didn’t stop there, soon he too was coughing blood, and experiencing the same stomach problems.
It was then that the wife who had been researching on the internet for months discovered that the family’s problem matched the descriptions of an insidious mold called Toxic Black Mold or Stachybotrys. In light of his revelation she sought out the services of one of the world’s leading mold experts: Dr. David Strauss. The son and husband were given a battery of tests, and the home was finally tested. What was found was nothing less than shocking.
The home was a loss. This dream home had nearly ten times the normal level of Black Mold a case normally sees. Dr. Strauss theorized that the family was getting so ill from the mycotoxins the mold releases which effects the nervous system and lungs. It was also found that the mold probably came from a water damage that was not properly fixed, or disclosed in the final sale. From the level of damage there would be absolutely no way to eliminate every trace to mycotoxin from the home. He ordered the family to evacuate.
The doctor in an interview with CBS news said the disaster was in all ways like a flood, the family had lost everything they owned. They could not take a single piece from their old home for the risk of carrying spores. Wedding photos, baby shoes, everything gone.
By this time the husband had to resign from his high paying position. His memory was gone. His wife recalls him going to the grocery store and coming back without groceries, while his coworkers recall coming into his office and watching him stare at the wall like he had “had a stroke”. He was now on disability.
Upon leaving the house the wife’s milder symptoms disappeared. However her son developed asthma and a difficulty concentrating in school. The young boy saw a doctor who specializes in mold exposure cases who saw a low level of antibodies, which likely means a prolonged exposure to mold. He stated most assuredly that the family should never be exposed to mold again. The husband’s condition only marginally improved. While they still could recover, for now the family still suffers from a creeping killer that made what should have been the happiest days into ones that would forever scar them.
In some ways the family was lucky, Stachybotrys can kill. Especially in infants the mold can cause hemorrhaging in the brain resulting in fatal pressure on the brain. Since this finding was found there have been over thirty cases of hemorrhaging in infants alone, and over five deaths.
Black Mold is not terribly common in our neck of the woods. Most cases occur in the southwest, to mid-west due to their high heat and low humidity, however it is not unheard of. Mold is not the first thing most doctors will think of, as when you see stripes on a horse you think zebra. If you think their may be cause to have your home tested do so. It could mean the difference between an unlucky chapter in your life, or the end of it.
If you have questions about Mold, Toxic Black mold, or the effects mold can have on your health leave a message in our ask box, or contact your doctor for more information on the symptoms.