Monday, January 17, 2011

warning! you must read this!

i don't believe in coincidences.
i believe everything happens for a reason.
and i believe that you must act when you get the chance.
you must always listen to those feelings inside that may prompt you to do something out of your norm.
of course that lesson was burned into me after pete's cardiac arrest.
it was etched even deeper into me tonight after getting an email from a friend.
it was a reminder that even the actions of a 3 year old aren't a coincidence either.
and that my friends, gives me a warm feeling inside.

please read on to hear my friend's experience.
if you decide to not read on, then just take away this message:
install working carbon monoxide alarms in your house,
keep them current,
plugged in,
and new batteries.
and while your at it...
get your furnace checked.
and make sure you have fire alarms just in case, too.

Here's the story...

Elisabeth (she's 3 or 4 )woke me up around 1:00 am Wednesday during the night saying she had a stomach ache. When I woke up right away I could smell a strong, strange chemical smell in the house and felt sick to my stomach. (she's lucky the CO2 was oxidizing in clogged duct so it was creating a smell; CO2 doesn't normally have an odor) I ran to the bathroom to throw up but collapsed in the hall. I didn't lose consciousness so I was able to drag my self to the bathroom. After I threw up I woke up Tony (her husband) then went downstairs to see if I could figure out what the smell was but I collapsed on the stairs. After that I knew we needed to get out of the house because I thought it was CO poisoning. I got upstairs and grabbed Sam (he woke up when he heard me sick in the bathroom) while I called 911. As I was leaving the house with Sam and 911 on the phone I saw Tony collapse in the hall and lose consciousness- so scary. I stuck Sam in the car and turned it on (with the garage door up and instructions not to move) then went back in for Elisabeth and to check on Tony. Tony was up and getting Anders out of bed. We all got out and then we all sat in the car until emergency help arrived.

Elisabeth is our hero! Without her we probably wouldn't be alive. We were told a persons CO level of 40 is when the heart stops beating and my level was 37, Tony's was 34, and the children were in the teens (which is a lot for their little bodies). Our house had a CO reading of 4000 ppm downstairs which means cardiac arrest in approximately 20-30 minutes so it's highly unlikely we would have made it through the night with eveyone alive.

The gas company determined it was a malfunction in our furnace. Carbon monoxide can't be smelled but it combined with something else in the air to create the strong chemical smell I immediately smelled when I woke up. We have a CO detector but we had taken it down to do some painting and forgot to put it back up and put new batteries in it.

The ambulances took us to LDS hospital where we all had several hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatments for a day and a half.

We are all home and doing well now (with a new furnace). I sent this to you because we love you guys and want you to be safe.


Pete said...

Yep that officially scared the crap out of me. I can rest a little easier that we installed a total of 3 detectors in our house. I think we used up a few lives last year, I don't think we have any more to give. Better safe then...dead.

Lindsay said...

I am so happy you guys are all hooked up now! Thanks for your concern and spreading the word. It defintely costs less for a few detectors than hospital/ambulance bills or funerals.

prcessmag said...

Wow!! That is so scary! Our alarms in our townhome are so touchy and they go off everytime I'm cooking, and don't pay much attention to them....I really pray that when our lives are in danger we will be able to know, and feel that we need to get glad this family is safe

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