Restore Our Family Toxic Exposure

My name is Pennie and I'm a single mom of 4 children. One of the hardest journeys of my life began in 2010.  I had just had a child, who is now 5.  My son came home from wrestling practice at 12 and as he was resting I noticed his neck pulsating very fast. Long story short he has suffered what would have been a major heart attack in an adult. After being at Childrens Hospital a week the doctors had no answers, they were puzzled. Leaving with no answers as a mom, it was quite hard. It was a blessing he suffered no damage to his heart. I knew something was still wrong and pursued it for 2 years and finally got a Dr. to go in through his leg and explore his heart. They found 9 extra pathways causing his heart to race over 200. The surgery was a success and if not fixed, he would have died very young.

Months later we woke up one morning and both of our birds were dead. No gas leak no explanations. I heard a small voice inside me say get out. We had all been experiencing many unusual medical issues. It all came down to a meth lab running below our condo. We stayed with family and went through withdrawls for a few months, lucky to not have died.

Ready to take a step into another home. After a few weeks I began getting major headaches and wierd symptoms. I also noticed that around the front door and hall discoloration. Long story short Mold and we had to leave a house once again.

We were then moved into a different building. Before moving in they put Kilz on the floors because of our pet allergies. New Carpet and Paint. After a few months we all started to become sick. We noticed an unusual smell upstairs. Not wanting to go there I did decide to call the Fire Department. By chance he went into the attic which was winter and found our whole ventilation system had been disconnected. This ment all of the fumes and everything else was not venting outside, but just circulating in the air. We left the home immediately because we were all throwing up from the toxins. Once again leaving another home.

It was over Easter and I found a month to month furnished rental, which was a little more then I could afford. I was pretty desperate at this point just to get my kids into a safe place.  We then found out the owners cemented over the window wells and there had been a major flood in the finished basement. Once again we were faced with a major mold issue. We once had to leave the home, all being sick again with major issues.

Back with Family again to heal and get through all the symptoms and tradgey. Each and every single one of these homes we lost everything because of the toxins not being able to be removed and couldnt be re exposed. So after a few more months once again I was determined to find us a brand new home that had never been lived in. I thought what could go wrong.

We moved in a new Condo and it was so beautiful, and we loved it. Then it began again. Me working from home most of the time, I was always the one home the most. I began geting blisters on my neck which soon followed down the whole backside of my body. Major painful and no doctor could figure it out. I had no energy and could barely function and take care of my kids. I noticed when my daughter got home from school she was always tired and we were both nauseaous all the time. Many fire department calls but nothing found. One day my gut said to call the Gas Company instead. In the term we found that we had been being exposed to natural gas for almost 10 months. Then in the investigation found that the whole vinyl floor was laid with a glue that never dried. We were breathing in some seriouse toxins. The environmentalist said if the gas levels would have been any higher, it would have expolded. Everything we owned and had just bought new, went to the dump.

Back to family once again for a few months since this exposure really took a huge toll on my body in so many ways. I was completly at a total loss as a mother trying to figure out how this was happening one home after another. So I prayed and then decided to move us into a home.

We moved in the Month of October and in two weeks I had blisters on my face not feeling so well.  I had just started an antibiotic to have a cyst removed from under a crown, so we thought that might be the cause of an allergic reaction. The procedure was done and things just seemed to get worse. I saw all the symptoms of mold, but did not in any way want to even take my mind that direction. But then I just became more and more ill. Loosing my job and barely able to function. Blisters on my face were just part of it as the fatigue took me out. Many doctor visits with many specialists and no answers. I was finally sent to a Top World known Hospital. A few days before that, I decided to hire an environmentalist to come to the house just to rule out nothing there was causing the problem. I just knew the results would be fine, but peace of mind would be a good thing. 

At this point in my life I truly felt like I was dying and it took all I had to do any daily activity. I was scared and did not want to die leaving my kids behind. They were my world and meant everything to me. So the night I returned from the hospital an hour away. I got a call from the Environmentalist. He said there was a problem and suggest we leave the house. I was in shock not expecting this news. He said our mold levels were 57, 000 and not suppose to exceed 1,000. We woul d have to leave the house with nothing and buy a new change of clothes to put on wherever we got.

We have been out of the house 2 week and do notice a difference, but still have so much healing ahead. As mom I have been hit hard with immune things and the blisters and sores on my face prevent me from even trying to get a job. Even if I wanted to get a job at this point I'm too weak and some days are just such a struggle. 

So one says how does this happen? 6 houses in a row and each time we have lost every single posession we own. No rights on this matter for tenants, but most of it has truly affected our family. I have never wanted more in life then for my kids to have a safe home. To have stability and a room to call there own. We have not lived life and have missed out on so much. So many happy memories lost.

Right now we are sleeping on couches at a friends and my son is at a friends house. I hate having my family divided, it breaks my heart. I feel like I have failed as a mother in so many ways, even though I know I did not cause this problem. I don't undersatnd any of the journey, but trying to stand on my faith.

We would just like a safe home and the basic essentials to live. Not a million dollars or a fancy car. Just a safe home and the chance to live life and make happy memories. I'm at a total loss where to go from here but anything you  might be able to help with would be a blessing. I'm grateful our lives were spared, but I so want my kids to have some good memories of there childhood, yes it's not fair. 

I can't work because I'm not strong enough. I support my kids on my own and I just can't see a solution this time. Yes, I'm scared and have no idea how to even fix it or what the solution is.

I do thank you for taking the time to read my long story and if you feel a tug on your heart to help our family, we would be very grateful. I have to believe that this is not the end and this story has a happy ending.

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Pennie Schutt Martin 
Fort Collins, CO
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