While we consider ourselves to be fairly seasoned travelers, never once did we think that packing a carbon monoxide detector would be an essential and life-saving item in our travel preparedness until tragedy struck and my husband Frank was poisoned by carbon monoxide at a “boutique hotel” in Lake Chapala, Mexico.
After dropping our twins off at their much-anticipated 6th grade camp in a rural community outside of Guadalajara, Frank and I set out to enjoy our weekend together, knowing that our children would be in the good hands and company of their classmates and camp counselors.
Never would we have imagined that instead of enjoying our weekend together sightseeing and relaxing that we would spend it fighting for Frank’s life.
Do mistakes and bad things just happen? Absolutely.
So does gross negligence.
After several hours of working next to an open window (that just on the other side of was a hot water heater) in the Barroca Room at Hotel Villa San Francisco, my husband Frank, upon standing up, was overcome by severe visual disturbances, full-body weakness, confusion, headache, difficulty speaking, extreme nausea and a ghost-like white appearance to his skin.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Confirmation that in fact two carbon monoxide leaks had been found in the hot water heater servicing our room, together with all of Frank’s symptoms, diagnostics and treatment, verified that indeed carbon monoxide poisoning was the culprit behind my husband’s near fatal symptoms–something that the simple installation of a CO detector would have prevented, not to mention the proper checks and maintenance of the hot water heater by the hotel management and owners themselves.
Only removal from the carbon monoxide and immediate medical intervention with continuous high-saturation oxygen therapy would save Frank’s life. Mega prayers and support from family and friends played their huge part as well.
As a result of this terrifying, near-death experience, we now ALWAYS travel with carbon monoxide detectors. We also have them in each of the bedrooms of our home and next to any gas appliances–i.e. the stove and the clothes dryer. Fortunately, our hot water heater is outside the house and far away from any open window, but it is highly advisable as well to have a CO monitor next to your hot water heater no matter where it is located.
Please, protect yourself and your loved ones with CO alarms for both home and travel safety. It is such a simple and affordable measure to take to ensure the safety and protection of your family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
If one is suddenly overcome with nausea, headache, vision disturbances, confusion and other mind-boggling symptoms, consider a CO exposure and get OUT of the room/building ASAP (and to a medical facility) until authorities can perform necessary tests, repairs and assure that the area is safe to return to.
Having your own CO monitors is essential for your safety so that you don’t need to rely solely on the establishment to have done the proper and required maintenance checks for the operation of a public facility.
*Carbon monoxide is silent, odorless and tasteless*
I hope this information saves just one life. Please share it with your friends and family.
Get your CO monitors today. Please make sure to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for battery replacement and equipment checks.
For the full story on what happened to my retired firefighter husband, click here.
With gratitude for this one precious life,
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