It’s a miracle! (That I’m alive)
by Michelle Chetlain
(BrushPrairie Wa USA )
My husband and I bought a manufactured home on an acre of land and lived there for 10 years. The last couple of years we all started getting sick and 2 of my children were put on inhalers (one had no energy). My husband was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and then there’s me; I got mono, pneumonia and bladder problems. It wasn’t until we decided to build a new house that we discovered that there was black mold, about a 5‘x 5’ area, inside the kitchen wall. As we began to take the house apart, we soon realized what was causing us all to be sick. So when it came time to build our new home, we picked the builder we did it was because they made all these claims about how they take all these precautions to make sure you don’t get any moisture and how they put in these fans so you won’t get mold.
About 2 years into our new home I started to get sick with vertigo, joint problems, back and hip problems and I had 8 urinary tract infections in one year. The joints in my feet were so swollen I could no longer wear my shoes. I began to have less and less energy, and I felt like I had the flu all the time - my body hurt everywhere. Then our little guy started getting migraines and the doctors couldn’t figure out why - then he also got asthma. By this time my joints were so stiff, I could hardly move my neck and couldn’t drive anymore. I had developed a rash and was starting to get sores all over my body. I went to doctors all the time but was told I was crazy or was accused of being on drugs.
My husband traveled a lot for work and had to leave his job to come home and take care of us so we were left with no option but to sell our home. The day before our inspection, my husband went up into our attic to discover that the entire roof and all the wood in the attic were covered with a toxic black mold. We had 3 inspectors come to look at it and they all said it was the worst they had ever seen. We had had some large forest fires in the area that burned a lot of homes and businesses. They brought ash into our attic which created a situation where we had an organic matter on top of the insulation. The inspectors determined that is where the mold began to grow.
We had no money as we had used up all our savings and my husband’s 401k on medical care. We found a wonderful remediation company who did the work and let us pay after we sold the house. After disclosing the mold and paying for the repairs we were not left with much. This was our dream home that we saved for years. We lived on the property for over 20 years the houses value doubled and we walked away with less than we put down on the house.
We were told in Washington State you can only sue your builder for 6 years after you build a home. We had to get rid of most our belongings since most of them were ruined by the mold. My husband started having memory problems and thoughts of suicide. Some days I could barely form a sentence. We have since moved across the country and now live with my brother. We have started to recover a little thankfully. No more migraines for my little boy and he’s off of inhalers. I am still dealing with a fungal infection and my husband still struggles with mental issues but we are thankful to be alive.
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