On Thanksgiving Day 2019, 4-year-old Walker collapsed while helping to set the table for dinner. He suffered the first of what would become daily life-threatening and life-altering seizures.
Fast forward six months, one year, two years, nearly three years and nothing had stopped Walker’s daily unexplained seizures. Doctors prescribed numerous medications, interventions, and diets, all of which had little effect on Walker’s condition. Testing offered few answers and left many of the doctors and medical specialists baffled.
Every day that passed without answers Walker was being robbed of his childhood. Simple childhood experiences like playing on a jungle gym or swinging on a swing had become incredibly dangerous for a boy with uncontrolled seizures.
Every night Walker’s parents watched helplessly as he slept on their bedroom floor because an unattended seizure during the night could prove fatal for their young son.
Unfortunately, Walker wasn’t the only with in the family unexplained symptoms. Rebecca began having a hard time with word recall and became uncharacteristically short-tempered. Her husband was frequently sick and didn’t feel like himself. As a result, he missed a lot of work. Their oldest son showed signs of anxiety and struggled to fall and stay asleep each night. Rebecca initially brushed off her family’s mounting symptoms.
“In my head, I attribute everything to PTSD from dealing with the all-consuming hold epilepsy has on our lives.”
Things began to change when a random Facebook comment led Rebecca to a functional doctor who determined that Walker was suffering from mold toxicity and the likely culprit was their home.
Walker’s family couldn’t see or smell the environmental toxins that were making them sick.
Without access to reliable information and resources, Rebecca didn’t know where to turn next to find out if and how their home was making them sick.
“I started tearing my house apart looking for mold, and of course found nothing (I didn't even know what I was looking for). I ended up finding mold inside one of our couches and started trying to educate myself better about how to find mold. I believe we are dealing with hidden mold… I don't know where else to look, what test to do or how I would begin to move forward from here.”
Unfortunately, the family’s deteriorating health and medical debt, left Rebecca without any options. They had no funds to address anyone else’s health issues let alone hire a good inspector for their home.
Like too many families, Rebecca was stuck in a home that was making her family sick and she didn’t have the knowledge and financial resources to do anything about it.
In the Fall of 2022, Rebecca reached out to Change the Air Foundation for help. Thanks to the generous support of our donors this year, the Foundation was able to arrange for a full inspection of Rebecca’s home at no cost to the family.
The inspection and testing of the home ultimately confirmed the doctors’ suspicions. Test results found extremely high amounts of stachybotrys, chaetomium, and aspergillus throughout the entire home, including the room Walker sleeps in each night. These molds are toxin-producing and are known to cause a wide range of health symptoms ranging from minor to severe.
Rebecca had been right about something as well. Most of the mold in the home was hidden behind walls, under floors, and in hard-to-reach places like her attic and HVAC system.
While no one wants to learn that their home is making them sick, Rebecca’s family finally has the answers they need so they can begin the journey back to healing their home and their bodies.
No one should have to wonder if the air in their home, schools, or buildings is making them sick.
Change the Air Foundation is committed to helping families like Walker’s. But we can’t do this alone.
Your donation of $30 puts reliable information and resources in the hands of families across the country.
You can change the air today. Please consider donating now.
“If we could have just addressed mold right off the bat, he could be a different kid right now.” – Rebecca (Walker’s mom)