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Carbon Monoxide: The Silent, Odorless, Tasteless Killer

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent, Odorless, Tasteless Killer

While we consider ourselves fairly seasoned travelers, we never once thought that packing a carbon monoxide detector would be an essential and life-saving item in our travel preparedness until tragedy struck when my retired firefighter husband 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 good hands in the company of their classmates and counselors.

But instead of sightseeing and relaxing, we spent it fighting for Frank’s life at the Red Cross, ER and a Hyperbaric Chamber Facility.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent, Odorless, Tasteless Killer


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 the open window—with a yellow-flamed, carbon monoxide-leaking heater just on the other side of it—my husband Frank, upon standing up, was overcome by severe visual disturbances, weakness, confusion, headache, difficulty speaking and vomiting.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent, Odorless, Tasteless Killer

Retired Firefighter Fighting for His Life

Carbon Monoxide Leaks Found in Hot Water Heater

Confirmation by the hotel staff that two carbon monoxide leaks had been found in the hot water heater, together with all of Frank’s symptoms and intake diagnostics pointed clearly towards carbon monoxide poisoning.

All further medical diagnosis and treatment confirmed that it was indeed carbon monoxide poisoningthat the simple installation of an affordable CO detector would have prevented, not to mention proper maintenance of the hot water heater itself.

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent, Odorless, Tasteless Killer

Hospital Diagnosis of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Only removal from the source of the CO, immediate medical intervention and continuous high-saturation oxygen therapy saved Frank’s life…prayers and support from family and friends as well. 

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent, Odorless, Tasteless Killer

Hyperbaric Chamber~One of Two 80-Minute Treatments

As a result of this terrifying, near-death experience, we now ALWAYS travel with carbon monoxide detectorsone for each of the bedrooms and one next to any gas appliances.

We can’t emphasize enough the importance for others to do so too. Carbon monoxide detectors for home and travel are an essential component of personal safety.

Protect yourself with a CO alarm.

Something so simple and affordable can save your and your loved one’s lives in the event of a carbon monoxide leak. 

*Carbon monoxide is silent, odorless and tasteless*

Carbon Monoxide: The Silent, Odorless, Tasteless Killer

CO Detectors Save Lives

I hope this information saves just one life. Please share it with your loved ones.

~Katie O’Grady

New York Couple Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The Sharp Family





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*Disclaimer: this article contains affiliate links for products we use. The price is the same whether you use our affiliate link or not. If we haven’t spent our own money on it stand by the product, you won’t see an affiliate link for it here.




{ 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,

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