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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning~The Silent Killer!

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. 

Carbon Monoxide~The Silent Killer!

Continuous High-Dose Oxygen Therapy in Hospital While We Waited for Hyperbaric Chamber Facility to Open in Morning

How could such a thing happen

Do mistakes and bad things just happen? Absolutely.

So does gross negligence.

After several hours of working next to an open window (where just on the other side of was a malfunctioning hot water heater), 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~The Silent Killer!

Fighting for His Life & Saying My Prayers

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, service 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. 

Two 75-minute sessions in a hyperbaric chamber

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. 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 protective 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.

Don’t rely on the business to have done the proper and required maintenance checks. Bring your own CO monitors for your and your loved ones safety and peace of mind.

*Carbon monoxide is silent, odorless and tasteless*

Carbon Monoxide~The Silent Killer!

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,

~Katie O’Grady

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About the author: Internationally-Acclaimed Author & Relocation Coach Katie O’Grady is a 4th generation San Diegan who together with her retired Firefighter hubby and their now 16-year-old twins immigrated to Mexico in 2012. Los O’Gradys in Mexico is InterNations Top Expat Mexico Blog and has been featured on various distinguished platforms including Elephant Journal, Yucatan Times, and Huffington Post. Eight years into their Mexico adventure, Katie and her family continue to embrace their reinvented, reinspired lives where tacos and fun are part of their daily round! If you are interested in learning about raising bilingual, bicultural children and creating a life of design, feel free to contact Katie at [email protected] and on the following platforms: Facebook Instagram Pinterest

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Sherri Chessen September 2, 2018, 12:42 pm

    Katie, I was so surprised and happy to see you on my FB. Somehow, by someone, a new FB with no picture was created in my name taking with it most of my friends. Try as I may, I’ve been unsuccessful in removing it….blah, blah, blah.

    More important is that you are going public with this near-miss for Frank and helping others…..I applaud you, Katie.
    Carbon Monoxide poisoning….so easily detected with the right equipment and such a silent killer otherwise.

    So happy that you are all well and that you’re choosing to help others not experience the trauma your family went through.

    Love you all,
    Shoo

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