Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Awareness

February 12, 2009

I just want to put a PSA out there because I know sooo many people (including Jeff and I) didn’t know that you should have a carbon monoxide detector on EACH FLOOR of your home.  Last December, one of my friends (who is pregnant with baby #2) and her 2-year old daughter came very close to death’s door because of carbon monoxide poisoning.  Here is her story…

“After hearing about the family in Aspen that died from carbon monoxide poisoning a couple of week ago, DH and I talked about getting a detector. Being the procrastinators that we are, we didn’t do it yet. When we woke up and our furnace was broken on Thursday morning, we confirmed that we “definitely need one”. Well…that was TOO late.

On Thursday Ivy and I were home alone – like normal. I put her down for a nap and about 45 minutes later I heard her screaming. When I went upstairs to check on her she was still asleep but appeared to be in pain and her eyes were open but rolling back in her head. I thought I needed to call the nurse line because it didn’t seem like Ivy at all. By the time I left her room I was feeling VERY ill. I stopped in the bathroom to get sick and woke up on the bathroom floor after I had apparently passed out. I crawled to the bedroom (still not making a connection that Ivy and I were both behaving oddly, as I was clearly already “out of it”) and tried dialing Matt at work. It took 3 tries before I got the number correct and reached him. I could barely form a coherent sentence. I told him I thought I passed out and asked if he could call me back in 15 minutes to check on me. I also told him Ivy was behaving oddly. He called back in 15 minutes and there was no answer.

Matt immediately left work (also not making a carbon monoxide connection – he thought I just passed out). 5 minutes after leaving he remembered that our neighbors (the girls who babysit Ivy) have a key to our house. He called them and the high school age girls were home. He asked them to check on us and call him back. When they arrived at the house Ivy and I were both unconscious. They took Ivy out of the house and called 911 from their home. I didn’t come to until they were working on me in the ambulance (very surreal experience). I spent a portion of the night in a hyperbaric chamber and Ivy had to spend it with oxygen on (due to the quick thinking of the girls in removing Ivy immediately from the home, she had less exposure than I did). Getting a 2 year old to breathe oxygen from a mask is no picnic.

Anyway, we are both safe now, due to a series of happy miracles – me waking up after originally passing out and being able to call Matt, him thinking to call the girls next door, and them being home (this was the ONLY day this week they would have been home at that time), we are safe and doing pretty well. We are obviously shaken up as it is very clear that with even a little more exposure Ivy and I easily could have been brain damaged or dead. Poor Matt had to pull into a cul-de-sac filled with firetrucks and ambulances. He saw them carry his unconscious daughter and wife into an ambulance and understandably is very upset about the whole experience.

So…after this VERY long story – PLEASE don’t procrastinate like us. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector GET one NOW! I NEVER smelled gas. I didn’t even feel remotely bad until I stood up to check on Ivy. Within minutes I was so sick I was almost incapacitated. It happens FAST!! Learn from our mistake!”

Last night, the two teenage girls who pulled Ivy out of the house were honored at a local fire station.  Here is a link to the news coverage.

Jeff and I both got very emotional watching it, thinking of Brandi’s family, and then our little boys.  Thanks to Brandi and Ivy and their story, we now have a carbon monoxide detector for each floor of our house (we also bought two fire extinguishers, again one for each floor).  It was a very small price to pay for a little bit of peace of mind.  So PLEASE, if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector for EACH FLOOR of your home, go buy one TODAY!!!




4 Responses to “Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Awareness”

  1. Jana said

    AWESOME Post! I’ve followed you here for quite sometime and LOVE your blog. This post is terrific reminder for everyone.

  2. Brandi said

    Thanks for sharing our story Kerry! I really feel like our mission now is to spread the word on carbon monoxide detectors. I also just learned from the fire department last night that they still see and talk to MANY people who don’t have smoke detectors. I found that very surprising, but I guess there is still awareness to be spread! So please everyone be sure you have working smoke detectors and install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home!!

    Kerry your baby belly is so cute 🙂

  3. Sara said

    We had one carbon monoxide detector and then when Brandi shared her what happened to her, we went out and bought one for our basement and an extra one for our main floor. I posted what happened to Brandi and her daughter on our blog and have had a few friends finally go buy their detectors. YEAH!!!

  4. claire said

    Love your blog.

    Just wanted to say that we recently had an electrician at our house who look at our carbon monoxide detector and he said the plug-in detectors are better (vs. battery operated) but its better to have something than nothing. Also said to mount it a few feet off the floor, rather than on the ceiling as carbon monoxide sinks.

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