I wan t to preempt this with a statement, the year this happened, 2015, Columbia had a “1000 year flood”. I am not sure if the house on Margrave became infested with the mold after this or before this. This I do know, it is being sold without remediation or property disclosure that there was toxic mold.
Mold Causes Major Health Issues
I became sick starting in August of 2016. I started with a non-productive cough. This continues until I was diagnosed. I later experienced shortness of breath on exertion, wheezing, memory loss and joint pain. As you will see in my husband and mine’s timeline this was a scary unknown medical issue that no one was very familiar with. Also, unfortunately for us we had decided to rent downtown until we decided where we wanted to live permanently.
After the flood happened in Columbia, we realized a couple of weeks later that we had standing water in the crawl space. We notified our landlord and FEMA. We also lost all of our yard and home tools. Our landlord pretty much told us we should call someone to have it taken care of. Like everyone else, there was no one available for this small job. FEMA even denied our claim. My husband and I used our shop vacuum to remove the water. As you can see in the timeline of my illness, I went to the doctor every month and she thought it was an URI. It was puzzling to her and my specialist. Mold does not show up on a chest x-ray or lung scan. This has been an exhausting expensive process. My husband and I had to move immediately according to my physician because mold was growing in our home. We had to break our lease and our landlord would not refund our deposit after I had spent so much on my illness. It was as if she did not care that I was sick and her house caused it!
The scary part is the owner of the home is now trying to rent/ sale it without having it remediated. She did not show in the disclaimer there were any environmental problems. I feel obligated to get my story out to the public and nation to prevent anyone else from suffering. Upon calling state agencies, I realized there is no one out there to do any type of inspection or follow up for someone that has experienced what I experienced. DHEC no longer handles mold is what I was gold. Since we had the flood, I feel there are probably others that will have health care problems. I even had my physicians baffled, so obviously it is not a common problem.
Please see our illness timeline for myself and my husband:
8/28/2015 Saw physician assistant for cough and cold like symptoms. He prescribed a Z pack. Diagnosed with Acute Bronchitis and he gave me a steroid shot, Levaquin and an inhaler.
9/29/2015 saw my personal physician for Fatigue and cough was taking another antibiotic and using a new inhaler. Thought it might be loosening up but not much.
10/9/2015 Saw my personal physician felt like I was improving but also had a chest x-ray done and nothing showed. She also prescribed another antibiotic.
11/23/2015 went back to my personal physician and she notes continued cough for about 6 weeks. Thick yellow mucus and continues during sleep waking her up. My physician thought cough may be coming from reflux so she started me on reflux meds.
12/7/2015 saw my personal physician cough is worst. She hears rattling in my chest. She gave me 2 more inhalers and another antibiotic. She even thought I might have COPD. Put me on a steroid dose pack. She said she would refer me to ENT or Pulmonologist if not better. Wheezing off and on the entire illness.
12/18/2015 Cough seemed to have resolved but also had just finished the Prednisone.
3/3/2016 Saw Physician Assistant for left knee pain. Did not find anything other than mild arthritis. No problems in the past.
3/14/2016 Sputum culture was normal
3/16/2016- Had CT Lung. Normal
4/27/2016 Sent to ENT said cough was not from my sinuses. Told me I need to follow up with Pulmonologist.
5/11/2016 my personal physician saw me for constant cough. Now wheezing started me on Gabapentin and referred me to the pulmonologist. Now wheezing is waking me up and having to sleep in a chair due to cough.
5/12/2016 saw the Pulmonologist for Chronic Cough States all test were normal except on exertion my oxygen level went down. Eosinophils are elevated. Noted hypoxemia and scheduled a bubble echo which was normal.
5/23/2016 had bronchoscope in outpatient surgery. The pulmonologist wanted to wait on pathology report but did note irritation from chronic cough.
5/31/2016 had follow up appointment with the Pulmonologist. Chronic mold infection colonization in my left lung was my final diagnosis.
6/2/2016 saw my personal physician. I was exhausted cough seems to be getting worse. Chronic Ensopholonic Pneumonia started on steroids. Was advised to not be around any chemicals at this time. Diagnosed with Acquired broncho malcia and chronic eosinophilic pneumonia.
6/23/2016 Follow up with my personal physician. Much better will keep me on a regiment of 4 mos. of prednisone to make sure it clears up.
My husband’s illness Timeline:
5/27/15 My husband was seen for shortness of breath. About a month prior he experienced SOB at the gym. An EKG and Chest X-ray were normal.
6/26/2015 My husband saw his personal physician for SOB and Chest Discomfort found nothing wrong and told him it was anxiety. He also did a nuclear stress test and echo cardiogram. No findings.
8/19/2015 My husband was seen for foot/joint pain. His physician could not find anything wrong.
9/18/2015 My husband was seen for swelling in his lower extremities. Nothing found.
11/25/2015 My husband was seen for knee pain. X-ray could not find anything wrong other than mild degenerative changes.
1/6/2016 My husband did a follow up with an Orthopedist and had MRI of knee and more x-rays. Nothing was found. Some arthritis but not enough to cause this.
He continued to have joint pain. He would wake up in the middle of the night having problems trying to breathe. He continued to easily become winded until we moved out of the house.