A Toxic Mold Survivors Story

A Toxic Mold Survivor’s Story


We are all aware that mold in the house is bad and can potentially cause serious health problems.  Just how bad can it get? Read on to find out.


There’s an interesting article we recently read telling the story of Charlotte Ryan, a toxic mold survivor, and her family.  She recounted how the seemingly home of their dreams turned out to be the source of their worst health nightmare. 


They had been living in their new home for eight months already before they found out that it was causing them to become seriously sick.


The Symptoms

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toxic mold survivors story sick family

It was just a mere week after the family of four moved in that they started getting sick.  First to feel ill was their youngest. Then Charlotte was the next to experience symptoms, followed by her eldest child.  It was six weeks after that her husband likewise got sick, only because he was away travelling for work most of the time. 


What were the symptoms they felt?

  • severe headaches 


  • vomiting 


  • weakness


At first Charlotte thought it was the flu.  But then she started experiencing chronic fatigue, had bad tremors and had lost strength in both her arms.  Her brain literally began shutting down due to lack of oxygen.  


It became so bad for her that she transformed from an active, able bodied 39 year old to someone barely able to function and work.


Her children likewise experienced lethargy and were constantly coughing and sneezing and had red eyes some days.  For any mother to witness that was indeed alarming. And to not know what was causing it must have been doubly distressing!


It did not really help that the doctors they consulted - at least a dozen, could not offer a logical reason for the family’s illness, treating some of the symptoms but not really the cause.  


Not until they went to see an allergist who realized that it was their home that was making them so sick!


Mold Was the Culprit

toxic mold survivors story household mold

The visit to the insightful allergist was the turning point.  Charlotte started to research toxic mold. She eventually purchased an air quality test kit and “the results were horrific” .  The test kit showed that their home was positive for several kinds of mold - at high levels!


  • Cladosporium - unlike most molds that grow well in warm, damp places, these can grow in cool areas as well and are found on fabrics or wood surfaces


  • Penicillium -  this mold is characterized by its blue or green appearance and can typically be found on materials that have experienced water damage


  • Alternaria - these are commonly found indoors in damp places like showers and under sinks that have turned leaky  


  • Aspergillus - these grow on dust, powdery food items and building materials (drywall, etc)


  • Stachybotrys chartarum - this is also known as toxic black mold.  It is actually greenish-black in color and can grow on material with high-cellulose low-nitrogen content.  Examples of materials of this nature are gypsum boards, fiberboards, paper and even such ubiquitous things as dust and lint. 


While not as common as the above mentioned species of mold, this type occurs when there is excessive and constant moisture resulting from water damage, water leaks, condensation or flooding. 


Here is an important thing to take note of - musty smells are normally indicative of the presence of mold but not all the time


Charlotte said “What surprised me the most is that I didn’t smell any unpleasant odor lingering, I just knew my house was exhausting me.”


The Solution

toxic mold survivors story mold detection

Once they knew what was making them sick, the family started their journey from being victims to becoming toxic mold survivors. 


The first crucial step of detection was done; the next step was mold remediation.  They did consider leaving their home of 8 months, but decided to give remediation a try since they were also planning to renovate anyway.  It “just fast forwarded and deepened that renovation’s efforts”


The mold remediation company they contacted was able to pinpoint that the attic was the most problematic part of the home.  Their effort to clear the house of toxic mold was able to help the family move forward to become better - healthwise. 


Being more aware of molds and how they can drastically cause sickness, Charlotte Ryan and her family are also staying vigilant “to ensure that no new growth starts by monitoring moisture levels.”


Valuable Lessons


Molds can be found anywhere - indoors and outdoors. They multiply by releasing microscopic spores into the air. These spores can make their way indoors, into your homes through open windows, doors or vents, or even by attaching themselves to your clothing, shoes or your pets. 


When conditions are right - there’s excessive moisture and ample supply of nutrients to feed them, molds can grow and grow fast. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) recommend that any mold growth be dealt with immediately. 


While not everyone is affected by mold the same way, some people are more “genetically predisposed to heavy reactions.”  It can result in symptoms that include:


  • Chronic fatigue


  • Migraines


  • Asthma


  • Other symptoms are similar to other health issues which sometimes make pinpointing mold toxicity as the root cause difficult


Call Us For Help


If you have experienced flooding or leakages or notice any condensation in your home, it is important to have the area or areas dried and cleaned immediately to prevent mold growth. 


This is especially true if there are materials such as paper products, cardboard, wallpaper, ceiling tiles, wood, insulation materials or upholstery involved.  These offer perfect breeding grounds for molds.


FIVE STAR RESTORATION specializes in water damage repair and mold removal. When you experience water damage at home or in your business, we come quickly to prevent further damage. 


After the initial FREE Water Damage Inspection, our expert technicians immediately work to have the affected area cleaned and dried using specialized equipment.  If needed, we also help you remove damaged materials and safely dispose of them, minimizing the danger of mold contamination. 


If you have mold growth or suspect mold infestation, FIVE STAR RESTORATION also offers expert mold remediation services.   We help you get mold out of your home and ensure that it does not return. 


Our services do not just stop at water damage mitigation and mold remediation.  We go a step farther by offering invaluable help with insurance claim processing.  We work directly with insurance adjusters so you get your loss covered, with as little stress or headache as possible.


Your home or business is a valuable asset.  Protect it from water damage and mold growth by calling on the very best.


Reach out to us at 951.368.2227 for fast round-the-clock response. 


Tags: Toxic Mold Survivors Story, mold story, toxic mold, home mold, household mold

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