Illness, Devastation, Death and Recovery of a Family with Mold Mycotinxin Poisoning
BY: THE FAMILY OF JOSH, EMILY, SEBASTIAN & THEIR TWO DOGS, KUJA AND CHARLIE
It all began with a new adventure …
In Early March 2015, My family and I sold our home, left our careers and moved from Austin, TX. to Livingston, TX. to pursue an opportunity that was presented to us of buying a family owned restaurant.
That decision was driven mainly for the opportunity it would allow us to spend more time together as a family raising our new son, Sebastian, whom was 10 months old at the time. It would also allow me to be with Sebastian full time at home while also spending more time with family and other relatives that would be much closer to us if we lived in Livingston.
The townhouse we moved into had been freshly painted and cleaned. We didn’t see anything wrong with it at first. That first night we discovered the tub leaked from the upstairs bathroom into the kitchen downstairs.
That next morning we walked out back to find the pool was not full of clean water; instead it looked like a black mushy swamp which you could not see through.
The landlord apologized for the pools state when he arrived to look at the leak and promised to get it cleaned before the summer… However, he made a comment that it had leaked before and that this same plumbing issue had actually flooded the downstairs at one time in the past.
Seeing the immediate concern on my face, the Landlord explained that it had been fully remediated and that he had moved the current tenants at that time out in order to remediate the downstairs correctly. I took him at his word since other than the pool looking like a black mushy swamp, which Josh and his brother would eventually drain and clean, the townhouse seemed clean otherwise. We also couldn’t find any other leaks or visible water stains.
This would all change in the months to come…
Everything was normal. My Family has always been very healthy and active.
We loved taking our dogs hiking, exploring and swimming. Josh was always doing some sort of construction project and I ran pretty much every day with my favorite running buddy, our sweet doberman Kuja.
At this point in time, our new son hadn’t had any health problems other than the normal teething issues that many infants go through.
Our 2 dogs started going to the bathroom inside the townhome within the first week as if they couldn’t hold it. We hadn’t had any issues with them in Austin since they were pups
Then our son started to get really congested. At roughly the same time, my husband started to suffer from an extreme case of sinusitis. But we brushed all this off to the new environment and allergies.
Kuja accidentally fell into the black swampy pool that first month also and developed some skin issues soon after.
Our son whom had no problem with his ears or being around other people suddenly developed chronic ear infections along with an extreme case of fear of anyone but us. He started hitting his head on the walls and slapping at his head with his hands.
I tried looking in his ears but he did not want me to touch his head at all. Our relatives said it’s more likely due to teething. “He is just in pain from his tooth(s) trying to break through.” I had him checked out and the doctor said he is probably developing allergies to the new area since pollen was really bad in Livingston. He told me if his drainage was clear, then it’s allergies and that his excessive ear wax did not look concerning. Once again we brushed it off.
My husband’s sinusitis was persistent and continued off and on every month that we lived there. I can’t even count how many allergy shots he was given by his doctor which never seemed to help. As time went on, he developed more symptoms: pain in his joints, involuntary twitching, nose bleeds, inflammation in his gums, depression, digestive issues, loss of vision, excessive thirst, problems with his memory, speech problems and inflammation in his neck and back. His joint pain was so bad that he had trouble standing up straight in the mornings or even bending his fingers.
Then I started getting ill …
My menstrual cycle changed that first month. It was the first thing to cause me problems. It became extremely heavy and painful. I had always had light periods with no cramps. But one morning when I woke to get out of bed, I couldn’t. I could not lift my legs because the pain in my abdomen was so severe. This pain persisted for 3 weeks and would continue off and on for the year we lived there. It came in waves about every 2-3 weeks so I figured it must be hormone related. I did go to the doctor and they did an ultrasound and the results came back negative. They tested my blood for folic acid deficiency since I complained of fatigue. That test came back normal too. I kept telling the doctor that something was wrong. The pain was too severe for it to be nothing. I thought I had developed IBS or Endometriosis. Those were the two diagnosis that I felt matched all my symptoms in the beginning. My doctor’s remedy, was to prescribe me birth control, to see if that would help regulate my hormones and help solve some of my problems. It didn’t.
Then a leak from the roof started in our living room.
Apparently it had been a problem before as well.
The landlord had it repaired but it came back within a month. It was never repaired again even though we told them several times it had started again.
It was around this same time that a huge water stain appeared on the second floor above the stairs. It had been painted over and when we asked about it, they said they had that leak repaired and there wasn’t anything to worry about, “It was just an old water stain.”
But it was a problem! The stain got bigger since it was actually leaking. Finally my husband went up there and fixed it since they never sent a professional out to do it.
The Health Issues Continued …
But when our Doberman Kuja had a seizure and scratched like she had an infestation of fleas when she, nor our Yorkie, did not and when our son started to develop now breathing issues along with his other problems which included bowel issues, I consulted his doctor in regards to if there was any chance this could be mold related.
I had this feeling it could be mold. But the doctor said no.
He listened to our sons lungs and said there was definitely build up but it was more than likely due to a cold. He had Josh assist Sebastian with a Nebulizer breathing treatment and then another prescription was prescribed.
Kuja’s seizure was never explained and neither were the 2 benign tumors she now had developed in her stomach.
Skip a few months and we are all still battling issues. I had just finished my second half marathon in early November but around Christmas is when I went downhill fast!
This is where my symptoms became constant like almost everyday versus every other week. My OB had just prescribed me medication because they said I had a severe case of bacterial vaginosis.
I started having headaches, off and on, prior to Christmas but about 3 weeks after finishing the antibiotics, my head started to hurt! Not like a typical headache at all, this pain was different. I was waking up in puddles of sweat and my joints started to ache all over. I thought it was the flu or something and it started the day after our son was diagnosed with strep. My strep test came back negative and the doctor said I didn’t have the flu. They gave me a prescription for strep just in case, which didn’t help. I even had them give me a second round of antibiotics and it still did not help. Over the next four months my headache continued to spread all over my head. My scalp became so painful to touch that I didn’t want to wash or brush my hair and I was losing a lot of hair. I had painful cyst-like acne all over my back, neck and face. My headache would not go away no matter what I tried. I was certain I now had a brain tumor or MS.
Next, I thought I had runner’s colitis one day after jogging a few miles. That problem persisted and caused me to give up running altogether. I went from running half marathons at a 7:32 mile pace to not being able to run a 12 minute mile or even being able to complete a mile altogether due to the extreme pain which would send me running to the bathroom and cause me to be bedridden or immobile for the rest of the day.
My symptoms kept progressing, I developed involuntary twitching of my fingers and my right eye. I had constant drainage. When I blew my nose there was always a blood streak. My memory was horrible! I started to stutter a lot. I became sensitive to noise and light. I had scary static shocks in my arms, chest, head and abdomen and I started to have heart palpitation issues along with almost daily anxiety attacks. Additionally, I developed an extreme fear of stray animals when I am one of the biggest animal lovers. I am the animal lover who brings home homeless animals whenever I find them. I also developed a fear that there were poisonous spiders in the townhome. I would continuously search Sebastian’s room and the floors for them like a crazy person.
Still, no answers … I felt like I was going mad.
The doctor examined me AGAIN!
She said there was a lot of fluid buildup behind my ears and gave me another prescription. It did not cure it. I went back and they performed a visual check for meningitis; negative. They did an x-ray of my lungs because I was now having breathing issues too; negative. Suddenly I had squishy knots appear on the back of my scalp.
Then a tumor like bump appeared on my leg, which sent me back to the doctor who did not help me much at all. It went away after 2 weeks. Thankfully a family friend doctor that same night was eating at the restaurant with our landlords when my husband told them about the bump on my leg so he met me outside to look at it. He was at least able to put my now bone cancer fear aside for the moment since he said it didn’t look that concerning and to just keep an eye on it.
I was getting sick of being sick while at the same time trying to be there for my family whom was not feeling 100% either.
I was feeling like I could not get through to Sebastian at all. He had become so disinterested in learning new things, in being held. He seemed to be in his own world most of the time. He was always tired and grumpy. Comforting him started to feel impossible. I felt like I was walking on egg shells because so many things set him off. He didn’t want the lights on, he couldn’t stand loud noises, he didn’t want to be touched, he hated baths now. He also wouldn’t sit with me anymore or try to communicate with me other than crying when something was wrong or holding his hands up towards his bottle when he was hungry or wanting water.
Josh and I were not doing well either. He was always working and we both seemed to be on edge due to us both trying to get well ourselves. I didn’t understand what was going on anymore. I started to think I was going insane! None of these symptoms made sense to me, I felt like my family was a mess and going to the doctors felt like a dead end. All I felt that I could do was pray. So I prayed a lot.
And then our prayers were answered!
Our prayers were answered on Easter weekend 2016 when we left the townhome to go visit my oldest brother David and his family in Daphne, Alabama. It had been 13 months since we moved into the townhome.
After the first 24 hours of not being there, for the first time in almost 4 months, I told my husband that my head felt better. After 48 hours, the pain in my head was still not as severe as it had been. Plus, my achey joints were not as achey and I felt like I could breath easier too. Josh also told me that he was feeling better and our son was more energetic and engaged than he had been in a long while.
Seeing Sebastian run around without being out of breath or like he was in any pain made us both realize the same exact thing at the same time, something was wrong with that townhome!
The night that we returned home we received a text from some other tenants that lived in a home owned by the SAME landlord. Their doctors had thought their infant, named Cody, may have Cystic Fibrosis….he had also been hospitalized 2 times.
Here is their text to us:
This message was confirming our original thought when we moved in over a year ago…. It is MOLD!
I instantly thought of that black swampy like pool that Kuja fell into! I should have known, that if they were that negligent… to let that pool become a black swamp when they virtually live next door to this townhome, who’s to know what they didn’t repair or maintain properly in this home that they put my child and my family in. I looked up Cystic Fibrosis and it’s symptoms immediately. I saw many common symptoms that I knew Sebastian, Josh and I had. Here are the symptoms listed on the Mayo Clinic’s website for Cystic Fibrosis.
We had the Townhouse tested for mold the very next day…. The Town house showed Positive for HIGH LEVELS of several Molds: Stachybotrys, Cladosporium, Penicillium/Aspergillus-like, Fusarium, Chaetomium, and Alternaria. All molds were present at HIGH LEVELS in or near the living room, where my son, our dogs and I spent most of our day! It was upstairs in Sebastian’s play area and It was also present at HIGH LEVELS in the AC System… which means the toxic mold spores and mycotoxins, were being dispersed into every room. I was thrilled to find out that it was mold causing the issues with my family; but scared at what kind of damage it may have caused our son. Sebastian had started trying to speak around age 1, now he was almost 2 and he had reverted back to babbling. I checked and he did have the same knots on the back of his scalp as me. I began to put the pieces together and I realized that he must have had the same head pain as me which resulted in him not wanting to learn new things or to be touched.. he would scream if I tried to touch or brush or wash his hair… It’s why he became sensitive to noise, why he was hitting his head on the wall and slapping at his head and ears and had social anxiety. Sebastian had been in extreme pain this whole time. The guilt and anger of not figuring it out sooner started to eat me alive. The whole reason we moved to Livingston was to give him a better life.
God stepped in and gave me “Hope” in regards to Sebastian, because within the first 3-6 weeks of being out of that townhome, Sebastian started dancing again; he was cuddling me again; he wasn’t screaming at bath time anymore… instead he went back to loving bath time, he ran with no breathing issues and he was trying to say words. He was wanting to learn again…. He still had a lot of diarrhea; even more so than before. We all did actually…. even the dogs. When we took him to the doctor he had lost 4-5 pounds from 3-4 weeks prior when he was weighed at the pediatricians office in Livingston while we were in that toxic environment. I saw this as a good sign – because maybe it was a sign he was detoxing the mycotoxins. I spoke to a doctor and a professor in downtown Houston that’s an instructor on mold related illness. He said, the best cure is getting out of the toxic environment, time and changing our nutrition to not include any moldy or sugary foods; such as cheese, yogurt, beer, wine, coffee etc… We would need time for our bodies to detoxify naturally and by cutting out sugar and any foods made of mold would help expedite our recovery.
Out Persistent Battle
When we moved out, The nightmare did not stop! We had to leave all of our things in the townhouse since they were exposed to the microscopic spores & mycotoxins and needed to be cleaned as part of the mold remediation. The company that did the remediation was not licensed and ended up exposing more of our belongings to the mold spores through their sloppy workmanship. The landlord refuses to compensate us for our loss. So we have had to come out of pocket for everything necessary to be comfortable in a new house. It was a costly lesson on our health and our finances. But we were just grateful to be feeling better. Item’s can be replaced, Health can’t!
51- days after leaving the toxic environment, on May 21, 2016, we found out we were expecting our second child.
After a blood test, it was revealed that we were expecting A BABY BOY!
We named him Malachi
We felt he was our angel from God and that he was God’s message to us.
“That everything is going to be okay…”
We were extremely overwhelmed to say the least… We were all still sick, but getting better. We had lost everything we owned and then my husband lost his job… because the landlords of the Townhouse also owned the Restaurant that we were supposed to be buying. They fired Josh because we refused to move back into that townhouse. We also refused to take anything from the townhouse other than the few clothes and our computer that we had initially taken. We could not afford to re-expose ourselves through our contaminated belongings since they were never professionally cleaned by the remediation company as the Landlord said he would have done. Protecting our health was of the upmost importance.
Now we are Jobless, Sick, Expecting and with just a few sets of clothes and our computer, we had “NO CLUE” on how to get help while we tried to get settled into a new home that we rented in Spring, TX. Our finances went quickly from the savings we had from Austin.
Thankfully Josh, having previously been employed by Truluck’s in Austin, was able to get hired on as a server at Truluck’s in the Woodlands very quickly at the end of July. In the meantime we were trying to get our new mission of helping others with Mold and Mold Prevention started as we got our life back on track. Our Goal was to learn everything we can about this horrible silent sickness and fungus so that we could then turn around and educate people on it, to spread awareness, in hopes that it will prevent others from falling victim to it. But this will take time as we will need to gain the experience and the knowledge first. This new path we were on was not easy and we were struggling financially.
It was September 19th, 2016…. Right as I picked up the phone to call The Lab to order the testing kits to test our health for Mycotoxin exposure, I got a call from Sebastian’s pre-school. When I arrived his teacher was extremely caring as she told me that there were some red flags with Sebastian, and then gave me the information to ECI “Early Childhood Intervention” so that maybe we could get him some more help.
As soon as I got Sebastian home and settled I picked up the phone and called RealTime Laboratories, Inc. in Carrollton, TX. We desperately needed these answers for Sebastian.
I mentioned to the nurse on the phone about pregnancy and mold; she told me that it has been proven that mold can affect a developing fetus. Instantly she realized, by my sudden burst of crying, that I was pregnant. My 20 week ultrasound happened to be the very next day even though I was past 20 weeks.
THINK OF THIS SCENARIO
I am going to give an analogy so that maybe more people can understand the dangers of mold. When thinking about mold and the damage it causes to your belongings, it’s difficult for many to understand. That’s because you can’t see the spores & mycotoxins covering your belongings and you can’t see them floating through the air and landing on you. You have no idea that you’re breathing them in either.
So please picture a fire instead. Picture it starting in your home in the same locations as the mold has colonized in your house. The byproduct of fire is soot and ash. The by product of mold is spores and mycotoxins. When there is a fire, the soot and ash travel throughout your home and end up landing on your belongings. It generally will also go into the A/C system.
Most everyone would say, that being in a home where soot and ash is floating through the air and covering your beds, furniture and belongings that it is a dangerous environment to be in – minus the heat and flames from a fire. In order to make the home a healthy environment again, all of your things would have to be cleaned and the A/C system including the A/C ductwork would either need to be cleaned or replaced. It’s the same with Mold.
The townhouse that we lived in had several mold colonies that were sporulating spores & mycotoxins over the 13 months that we lived there. These spores & mycotoxins not only were inhaled by us but they were all over our belongings. As we slept in our beds or ate dinner at the table, these spores & mycotoxins were landing on us, on our food and being inhaled through our nose as we lived amongst them. Testing confirmed this. Our belongings were no longer safe. They needed to be professionally cleaned and have the settled spores & mycotoxins removed in order for us to prevent cross contamination in a new place and to protect our health from re-exposure.
That night this picture and quote popped up in my Facebook feed.
It spoke to me because I had planned on the theme for Malachi’s room to be Lions. This message could not had been more perfect for me at that very moment…Because I felt our current life was one giant storm. This reminded me that I have nothing to fear because I am God’s child. God will get me through this. He has parted seas, he has moved mountains and cured the sick. He will clear this storm for us. “For we live by Faith, not by sight.”
On September 20, 2016 and at 22 weeks pregnant, our OB told us that Malachi was not okay… He had developed Anencephaly.
“HE WAS NOT VIABLE FOR LIFE.”
Because I was at St. Lukes and due to their Christian beliefs, they would not induce labor immediately for a terminal pregnancy like Memorial Herman would have allowed. We tried to switch over to Memorial Hermann but that became challenging and too emotionally taxing on us… So we chose to carry Malachi to term, versus the other options that we felt would cause him more pain.
All we wanted was for him to not be in pain.
An anencephalic child does not swallow the amniotic fluid like a normal developing child does and I was starting to feel the discomfort of this. I told my OB how uncomfortable I was but he said he was not going to relieve the pressure from the fluid buildup.
I was beginning to get too weak to ask why, argue or demand the care that my child and I should be receiving. I felt, because he was terminal, that we were now a burden. My body started to realize it was not a healthy pregnancy, or maybe It sensed how stressed I was, because I ended up in Labor and Delivery a couple of times until I decided to just deal with the pain. I was feeling defeated. I could not bother my husband with this anymore since he was working all the time to just pay our bills while trying to keep it together himself. I felt alone and I was slowly fading in my faith. My emotional health was barely hanging on. I wanted to cut Malachi out of me so that I could hold him and see him and tell him it’ll all be okay. I wanted to kiss his cheeks and rub his tiny feet and hands and hold him close in my arms. “FIX HIM GOD!!!” I begged and pleaded over and over… “Why didn’t you protect him???” I asked.
It was hard trying to control my fears and horrific thoughts about Malachi when Malachi would jerk viciously as the pregnancy progressed. Not only was I concerned about his condition but also the mold in my body. Was the deterioration of his scull and brain causing him pain? Why was he jerking viciously? Was it because of mold, was it eating him alive? I felt like I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t hold him… I couldn’t see him… I couldn’t fix him. But I could talk to him. I would tell him that I loved him and to be strong over and over when I thought he was in pain. I read him books; sang him songs and I told him about Heaven. I would put my hand on my stomach to let him know that I was right there with him, and I prayed to God that I would wake up and Malachi would be with Him, so that his physical pain would be gone and Malachi would have his wings.
In mid-October we received our Mycotoxin results. Dr. Johnson called me personally after 6pm on a Tuesday night to see if we could see him the next day. Josh was at work. I had just given Sebastian his dinner.
He explained that my results were one of the highest he had ever seen. And these test results reflected my current state of health (6 months post leaving that toxic environment and at 26 weeks pregnant). I can’t imagine what they would have shown if we had done these tests a week after leaving that townhome.
Was Dr. Johnson telling me that I was going to die?
That is how I felt when I hung up the phone that night. I called Josh immediately because I started to have a full blown anxiety attack. I cried and prayed for God to please let me stay with our oldest son Sebastian… because he needed me…. and I needed to see Sebastian through his recovery.
That next day we met Dr. Johnson in Dallas and he examined us and did more testing. He then started me on supplements and was in favor of us ending the pregnancy early due to my results being so high. He felt it was in my best interest to start treatment as soon as possible. The blood tests they ran showed which species of mold my body had come into contact with. There were quite a bit, and Fusarium species being the most prevalent. I also tested positive for Mold in my Sinus Cavity.
Fusarium Mold has been linked to Anencephaly!
The fungus has been implicated in the Birth of 31 anencephalic children in the Rio Grande region of Texas in 1991
“Smoking, alcohol, drugs, eating fish with high mercury content, hair dye, caffeine, paint fumes, saunas and hot tubs are just some of the things pregnant women are supposed to avoid in order to prevent harm to their developing child.”
How about a pregnant woman that was recently or is currently being exposed on a daily basis to excessive amounts of mycotoxin producing molds? How do you think this can affect a developing child?
“Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by microfungi that are capable of causing disease and death in humans and other animals.”
Unfortunately, science and research is still lacking in this department. So as of today, no one knows how mold can affect a pregnant woman’s developing child.
My OB was also in favor of the pregnancy ending early because he felt it was also an “unhealthy pregnancy.” We did not have the money to fly my family to New Mexico to one of the few facilities that assisted late term abortions.
Thankfully my OB agreed to call them, and have them to only stop Malachi’s heart. That way I could fly home and be induced here in the Woodlands where my family could be with me since “St. Lukes would induce labor if the fetus was demised.”
We were scheduled to fly out on October 30th. On October 29th, my husband told me that he did not feel right about it. He felt God has a plan and we should let God take Malachi, not us. I was furious! I was scared and I felt backed into a corner, not knowing what to do; and knowing that no one could tell me what to do because no one has ever been in these shoes.
Would I be jeopardizing my life by continuing with this pregnancy? If I didn’t have Sebastian to take care of and love for my husband, I would have not cared if I died since I was already in so much emotional and physical pain.
I left the house to go drive around and just be alone. I needed to be away from everyone. As I drove around I turned the radio on to drown out my thoughts that were making me more sad. That’s when this song came on and the words spoke to me as if it was meant just for me from Malachi and God. The song is titled “Unsteady.” This was the first time I had heard it.
On December 17th, Sebastian came and put his head on Malachi like usual…
He did this every night. But this night was diﬀerent… After about 20 seconds… he climbed up on the couch and turned my face with his little hands and kissed my cheek. Sebastian did not know how to kiss yet. He had never done anything like this before…. The kiss was so sweet! But it felt like a Goodbye and I felt it was Malachi in that moment using Sebastian to tell me Goodbye and to not worry, that he was okay. That night turned out to be the last night I would ever feel Malachi alive.
On December 19th, 2016, Malachi was delivered at 35 weeks.
He was more than beautiful… He was perfect to us in every way! We loved on him and rocked him. We are so very proud of him.
“We love and miss him sooo much!”
Josh, Sebastian and I spent Christmas at home.
Our church made sure we had dinner every night for a week. Family and strangers went out of their way to make sure our Christmas was special.
We were surrounded by so many gifts given to Sebastian from coworkers of my best friend Courtney, my family and my aunt Patti made sure we had a beautiful Christmas tree.
Sebastian was very spoiled on Christmas. 🙂
But now it was time to focus on us getting better physically and emotionally. That was the gift we needed most of all.
Everyone’s health had been getting better after leaving the townhome, even Charlie’s health (our yorkie) seemed like it was almost back to normal, but Kuja’s health was not good. More benign tumors kept developing. She now had over 12! Some were small and others large… she had them in her face, neck, stomach and one on her leg. I just kept thinking of that black swampy pool that she fell into… Being submerged in a toxic pool on top of breathing in the toxins for 13 months is probably why she got it the worse out of her and Charlie.
I dove straight into the Mold detox regiment that I read so much about and continued the supplements. However, I added a ton more of supplements after reading what Suzanne Somers did to get her self better from her Toxic mold exposure. My mom bought us a juicer to assist us with our extreme nutritional change.
Dr. Johnson sent me a re-test kit in early January. I told him that I wanted to wait to retest until I had given myself at least 6 weeks on this program. I sensed that he did not agree; but I knew that I would not be able to handle the results emotionally if they came back High. Malachi was still at the morgue and I needed to stop thinking about death. I needed HOPE! By concentrating my focus on my nutrition and my family’s nutrition, it helped give me hope that I was going to get well; and that Sebastian and Josh would get well too.
On or around, February 22nd, I called Dr. Johnson to discuss our next steps and to tell him I had just sent in the re-test kit. He said, “Once we have the results of where you’re levels are at now, we can then assess a treatment plan for you.” I told him that I said a prayer before mailing in the re-test…. that I prayed that God would have it show that I was mold-free. I will never forget Dr. Johnson’s tone when he replied with, “Well, lets see what the results say.” I know it took 4 years for Suzanne Somers to get well…being one of the highest results that Dr. Johnson had ever seen didn’t give me a good chance in regards to getting all the mold out of my body anytime soon…But, I still had hope.
On March 27th Dr. Johnson called, I was negative in all categories for mold. He could not believe it. Neither could I. I even called the lab and asked them if there could be a mistake. They said, “No”.
Did Malachi save me? That was the first thought that I had.
I believe the answer is, YES!
Mold likes dark places and fatty tissue in the body. That is why it likes to settle in the brain, the sinus cavity, the lungs and in the digestive tract. What better place, other than those places, than a developing fetus?
I want to believe that it was Malachi that became the Storm in my body to the mold that was trying to hurt me; and, that’s why he and God needed me to hold on. They needed more time to get as much of the mold to travel to Malachi, so that it left with him, in order to help heal me.
However, Dr. Johnson said he could not confirm that I still didn’t have mold in my tissues or organs. He said, the only way to determine if I was completely mold free, is to retest after going through hyperbaric chamber treatments. This would pull the mold from my tissues and allow it to show up in the retest.
We did not have the money for Hyperbaric at this time. At $200 per hour, per individual, per treatment… it’s expensive. We were also in the process of getting tubes for Sebastian and having his adenoid removed after Texas Children’s determined he did have fluid issues in his ears and his adenoids were also very enlarged. I knew he had issues with his ears. I am 100% certain it’s because of his chronic sinus issues that he developed and has been suffering from since the mold exposure just like his dad and me… Josh and I still have fluid issues which also originated in that townhome.
I also knew, after doing much reading and speaking to a Doctor that has worked with children exposed to Mold, that Sebastian, would probably get diagnosed as autistic. Annnnnnddd, guess what, he did.
Receiving Sebastian’s mycotoxin report that showed he was positive for mold back in October sent me through the roof emotionally.
I wanted to kill people! Knowing your child has mold in his body, which I know has been the root of all his pain, discomfort and development delays; while not being able to fix it immediately with medication, along with also not knowing if it has caused him permanent damage – will send any parent into the RED zone.
But when I read the evaluation report on Sebastian in April, I went straight back into the RED zone. Reading things about your child, that you don’t want to believe, that someone else wrote, was absolutely terrible. It was like a stake going through what was left of my heart.
I ran to Sebastian and just cried and held him. I told him he was okay and not to worry… he will get through this! We will get him through this! He has come so far in just a year from where he was, he just needs more time to heal.
Sabastian’s Lab Results:
The LSSP examiner completed the Childhood Autism Rating Scale, 2nd Edition (CARS-2) based on the observation of the evaluation of the student and information from team and parents. The CARS-2 is a 15-item behavioral rating scale developed to identify children with Autism and to distinguish them from developmentally handicapped children with Autism. Overall results of CARS-2 are assigned a T score based on an individual’s symptom level. The T score is compared to the symptom level of other individual’s diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. T-scores have a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. Each T score is assigned a severity group ranging from minimal-to-no symptoms to severe symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In the General Impressions category of the CARS-2, the evaluators described Sebastian as exhibiting a number of symptoms of mild to moderate characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Sebastian obtained a CARS-2 rating which, considering all 15 categories, indicated severe symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (T score= 48, 42nd percentile),
The line that said,“Indicated severe symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder”, kept ringing through my head like a SIREN!!!
“This was not my son before the townhome!” This is a result of Mold Toxicity!!!”
Drowning in tears after I put Sebastian to bed, as frantic thoughts consumed me about what would happen to him if we died! Would he be placed in a home and never truly be loved or treated like the amazing boy I see him as?
I started to lose it all over again. I typed and sent an email to my attorney complaining about the evaluation and evaluators. He was the only one that I felt that could help me understand.
Don’t ever Type & Cry…..
Leave it to me to copy the exact person I am complaining about, without knowing it, to the email I sent to my attorney. I figured it out a week or so later, after I had time to calm down and take a few steps back and realize, Sebastian was a lot of the things they listed in their evaluation. They were right and they had just opened my eyes to the truth I was not wanting to recognize.
I did more reading on other stories of mold victims after I sent that email. I was looking for some hope in other people’s stories. One father’s story talked about his boy, who was exposed to mold and how he also showed severe symptoms of Autism; according to this dad, all of his son’s symptoms slowly went away with time as he healed… and in time he was not considered autistic anymore. I believe he said it took his son 4-5 years to fully recover.
From what I also read, autistic children have a lot of inflammation problems, and the mold caused us all to have problems with severe Inflammation. Josh and I had a lot of the same issues as Sebastian… but ours are going away faster. However, Josh and I are adults, and had established immune systems, where as Sebastian, was so young; just 10 months old at the start of his exposure. It will take him longer than us to recover.
But I was mortified… when I saw that I copied the evaluator, Jody, to my emotionally charged email. It was not her fault; nor should she have to be subjected to my unfair criticism, which was driven purely by emotions and not logic. She was not out to attack my child or hurt him with her evaluation. She was trying to help him and us!
So, I wrote Jody an apology email, as soon as I realized my mistake.
Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
Emily Rachal <> on Friday, May 05, 2017 at 7:30 PM -0500 wrote:
I hope you didn’t take any offense to the email I sent to our attorney. Truthfully I didn’t mean to copy you on that email. Being emotionally upset and typing don’t go together. I was very upset when I read the sentence where it stated “severe autism.” It’s been a tough year after losing everything we own, losing our health, our second child and then still not knowing if Sebastian
will come out of this okay. It hurts to know he may be be permanently affected for the rest of his life because of the mold. It haunts me everyday. Our attorney is a wonderful guy that is trying to help us go after the people responsible for the unsafe environment of the home that caused all of this. I have giving ECI my permission to talk to him about Sebastian and anything
I was very upset for a few days after reading that report. Then I talked with his teacher and I really thought about it. I think I’m just in denial of how far Sebastian is behind bc he is perfect to me. I truly appreciate the opportunity he will have this coming year. I am sorry if my emotional rant hurt your feelings at all. I just don’t want to believe my son isn’t okay. But in order to help
him I must listen to you all and the other professionals so that he can get the help he needs and then be reevaluated in the future.
He did have his surgery on Tuesday and they said they pulled out very thick fluid from his ears and that his adenoid was enormous, which they removed as well. They also said his tonsils are enormous too… they will probably be removed in the near future. Since the surgery as I told Elizabeth today bc I’m trying to look at him more like you all would do so that I’m not
doing him a disservice by thinking he’s okay when he’s not, he has been speaking more clearly. What I mean by that… is he’s saying the words he does say more clearly to where I think someone other than me would understand him. Small steps of progress.
Anyways, I hope you have a great weekend and if you have any questions please feel free to call me.
Continued Steps toward healing
On May 2nd, Sebastian did have his tubes put in and his adenoid removed. The doctors noticed during surgery that his tonsils were also enormous. So they cautioned us to monitor Sebastian in order to make sure they weren’t causing him to have Sleep Apnea issues.
Since the surgery, Sebastian has been making incredible improvement. Even his preschool teacher Mrs. Marlo, sent me a video to show that, Sebastian finally, for the first time, participated and did the hand movements with the class to the song they listen to each week.
We hope to get him in hyperbaric treatments, as soon as we can, in order to speed up his recovery.
We are all still recovering. We still have good days and very bad days. We have been forever changed. Our life went from Great to nearly destroyed, to being in recovery. All because of mold.
A biological contaminant that could had been prevented if, the previous water events that occurred in that townhouse, had been fixed PROPERLY.
God doesn’t give the hardest battles to His toughest soldiers, He creates the toughest soldiers through Life’s hardest Battles.
Malachi is the strongest soldier I know!
As Malachi had no option but to make it through his storm, we will do the same!
“God can turn the worst events of your life into something beautiful. You just have to keep going!”
A Note from Malachi’s Mom
When tragedy strikes, I just want to say that God is by your side. I know it’s hard to believe when you are in the middle of your storm and in so much pain annnd… your faith may be sliding! Where there is good, there is unfortunately evil too. God doesn’t like it any better than you. Please Trust HIM….Because God loves you, and He will get you through! Don’t ever give up!
And if you listen or look around … You might just see or hear him talking to you and guiding you, in order to let you know – that He “IS” there, with you, in your current battle. Below may sound crazy to some but it’s the truth about how Amazing our God truly is.
One afternoon almost a year and half after Malachi’s death I was scrolling through some old texts and I came across Malachi’s name. I was having a sad and angry moment again about losing him and how the mold is still affecting Sebastian’s health.
Sebastian was again needing more surgery. I had sent my sister his name on August 8, the day Josh and I finally decided on his name because she needed it, since she was planning to host his baby shower.
Something about this day… along with his birthday after I closed my texts kept bothering me continuously throughout the morning. Was God trying to tell me something?
When I got home I looked up the number 8 and the 2 numbers that made up his birthday 12 and 19. After I saw what each one meant, God then sent me to the passage 12:19.
#12- Twelve symbolizes God’s power and authority.
#19 – Nineteen denotes God’s perfect order in regard to his judgement.
Romans 12:19 says Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is Mine to avenge; I will repay,” say the Lord.
In the Bible Malachi was also the LAST prophet of the Old testament BEFORE the New Testament began “THE NEW BEGINNING.”
Just as God and Malachi used the song, Unsteady, to stop me from ending Malachi’s life early, God was now using these specific numbers to remind me that this is our “New Beginning.” He was reminding me that, He has ALL the power, that everything happens in his perfect order and to not worry because he will avenge Malachi’s death and what happened to us.
Malachi’s name means “Our Angel” or “My Messenger” in the Bible. We originally chose this name because we felt he was our Angel from God… that HE was God’s message to us that, “everything was going to be okay.” Malachi, was indeed our Angel from God; because he saved me and brought an entire new support system into our life as well as a new level of faith. But God had us choose this name since He knew Malachi would become our Angel and then our message to the world.
My Best friend, My sister-in -law Angela, always told me to, “Give my worries to God” and then watch him rebuild, restore and help you through the countless channels he chooses to use… whether that channel be through a person that he may send to you on his behalf, or through a sign that answers the question on your mind, maybe it’s a song, a note, or the message at your church’s service that seemed to be written just for you….or it may be the sunlight that suddenly comes through a window to comfort and warm you when you’re needing it the most??? God will and does answer us all.
Today, He continues to direct my family down the path He needs and wants us to go. Our fuel is our Faith; our Love for God; each other and the many amazing people we have been able to meet and assist with their mold problems.
Sebastian has continued to progress…as he is exceeding everyone’s expectations. He is the most amazing son and boy. He is our Hero! Almost 2 years after leaving the moldy townhome, Sebastian was retested. He has detoxed most of the mold from his body, but he still needs more time to get the rest out and more time for his body to repair the damage the mold has caused him. We know the Lord is working on Sebastian and so are we… through supplements, clean air, nutrition and detox regiment.
Your Dad and I are so proud of you and we miss you every Day. We hope we are making you proud too.
Dad, Mom, Sebastian and Charlie.
P.S. We know Kuja is now your dog in Heaven, please give her plenty of hugs, kisses and belly rubs from us; and your brother Sebastian would also like to make sure you are giving her plenty of snacks.
Today is May 9, 2019, about a year after Sebastian had his second surgery and another year of him healing.
I am thrilled to report, that this once little boy who showed severe signs of Autism and was put into special education has healed. He was re-evaluated in April of 2019 and he is no longer considered Autistic.
He is now just a boy with a speech impairment which is getting better each week.
How many children today are just mold-sick and not truly autistic?
The EPA estimates that American’s spend 90% of our time today indoors. Clinical therapeutics and PUBMED recently noted that, “Evidence has recently implicated exposure to Mycotoxins in the pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum.
“To this day, after 3 years in the mold industry, the environment in the townhome that we lived in is still the second most toxic environment we have seen – and we have seen thousands of reports.”
“Disease associated with exposure to mycotoxins is known as the “Great Masquerader” of the 21st century because of its complex natural history involving different tissues and resembling different diseases at each stage in its evolution,” according to the World Health Organization. You can click here to read more about what the World Health Organization has found out about mold and mycotoxins.”
Our continued sole purpose is to help people the way we wished someone would have helped us, and to continue to spread awareness on Mold.
Josh has become one of the best in the industry, serving as the expert Mold Consultant for attorneys in many cases around Texas. I still manage the operations side of our company only until I can move forward with 3 other Beautiful Mothers, whose families were also devastated by Mold. We are creating a “Moms Against Mold” site/platform that is all about spreading awareness, educating the public on resources, laws, rights and more while raising money to give back to mold victims through the non-profit foundation that we are also creating which will help assist covering the medical costs of those affected by Mold, since health insurance typically does not cover mold illness and we would like to help people get better faster.
The Foundation’s Name will be “Malachi’s Message.”
Present Update - March 20, 2022
A lot has happened since May 19, 2019. I am proud to announce if you haven’t already seen that we did start the very first Non Profit Foundation that is set up to financially assist those going through mold. Malachi’s Message Foundation opened in early 2021 and it is off to a wonderful start in 2022.
But this is not the only news to announce. See below for the other surprise.
Malachi's Message Foundation Went Live in 2021
In 2021 Malachi’s Foundation went live. It is the very first non profit foundation set up to financially assist those going through mold.
On April 12, 2021 we welcomed our daughter, Jocelyn, into this world.
“We are over the moon to have her and we thank God everyday for her. Sebastian is the BEST Big Brother. He loves his little sister so much.”
Mold in the Bible
33 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 34 “When you enter the land of Canaan, which I am giving you as your possession, and I put a spreading mildew in a house in that land, 35 the owner of the house must go and tell the priest, ‘I have seen something that looks like mildew in my house.’
36 The priest is to order the house to be emptied before he goes in to examine the mildew, so that nothing in the house will be pronounced unclean. After this the priest is to go in and inspect the house.
37 He is to examine the mildew on the walls, and if it has greenish or reddish depressions that appear to be deeper than the surface of the wall, 38 the priest shall go out the doorway of the house and close it up for seven days.
39 On the seventh day the priest shall return to inspect the house. If the mildew has spread on the walls, 40 he is to order that the contaminated stones be torn out and thrown into an unclean place outside the town.
41 He must have all the inside walls of the house scraped and the material that is scraped off dumped into an unclean place outside the town. 42 Then they are to take other stones to replace these and take new clay and plaster the house.
43 “If the mildew reappears in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house scraped and plastered, 44 the priest is to go and examine it and, if the mildew has spread in the house, it is a destructive mildew; the house is unclean.
45 It must be torn down—its stones, timbers and all the plaster—and taken out of the town to an unclean place.
46 “Anyone who goes into the house while it is closed up will be unclean till evening. 47 Anyone who sleeps or eats in the house must wash his clothes.
48 “But if the priest comes to examine it and the mildew has not spread after the house has been plastered, he shall pronounce the house clean, because the mildew is gone.
49 To purify the house he is to take two birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop. 50 He shall kill one of the birds over fresh water in a clay pot. 51 Then he is to take the cedar wood, the hyssop, the scarlet yarn and the live bird, dip them into the blood of the dead bird and the fresh water, and sprinkle the house seven times.
52 He shall purify the house with the bird’s blood, the fresh water, the live bird, the cedar wood, the hyssop and the scarlet yarn.
53 Then he is to release the live bird in the open fields outside the town. In this way he will make atonement for the house, and it will be clean.”
A Poem for Us
written by Sherry Prather
A loving family staying sick – mama, daddy, son and the family pet having serious health issues.
22 wks pregnant Josh and Emily get more unbearable news. They desperately need their story told. Worldwide awareness about mold.
Baby Malachi was very sick and the Dr didn’t see. Carrying him full term was how it had to be.
They said he would suffer as he died. Take him God, his brave strong mama cried.
Let him go to Heaven in peace. His pain and suffering God chose to release.
Satan thought he could take this family down. But through God, they are helping others while Malachi wears Heaven’s crown.
This couple has so much love and concern. Because there is so much about mold we all need to learn.
Josh and Emily were not punished-they did nothing wrong.
God had a plan, from birth, in Heaven Malachi will forever be home & belong.
Young little Sebastian will have his guardian angel to help guide. Malachi will never leave their hearts and he is in Heaven so this baby never died.
Emily, I know the pain and sadness u can never erase. But the day will come you will hold Malachi and forever hug, kiss and embrace.
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