Belinda’s Speech – at our 20th Anniversary at the House of Lords January 2015
We have compelling evidence and strong reason to believe that we suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning from our gas powered boiler, since moving into a new house in 2007.
Our story highlights the problems inherent in the underfunding, under reporting and consequent under-researching of the already compelling international evidence that chronic exposure to CO has on people’s health, not to mention other gases and toxic contaminants in boiler fumes. The net result of this, in my experience, leaves the majority of the emergency services and health professionals, wholly under resourced, uninformed and ill-equipped to properly and adequately respond to victims of chronic exposure to CO, if respond at all.
Sadly, this situation had a catastrophic impact on our lives and we were left in the circumstances that were making us ill. On two occasions I found myself in the utterly terrifying and horrifying position where 2 of my 3 children stared at deaths door. With the first child I did not know the reasons behind her ill-health but with the second, the evidence I presented of a possible link to CO/boiler fumes before this, was not only wholly ignored but I was ridiculed and taunted for raising it.
Our journey illustrates the horrors victims live with as a result of this situation, more to the point, it highlights how a victims health and therefore life, is quite literally, left to deteriorate in the hands of a GP/ENGINEER (OR BOTH) who is, at worst, totally ignorant to the silent killer that CO is or at best, is largely uninformed and consequently inexperienced about the impact on health, of chronic LONG TERM exposure to LOW LEVELS of CO/boiler fumes.
Despite my whole family being ill (including our pets) and frequently going to the GP, the medics never considered CO/boiler fume poisoning, even after two gas alarms sounded a year apart of each other and our boiler finally being condemned. Sadly we got no help at all, but a lot of judgement that caused more trauma, to add to an already traumatic situation. I had no idea of where to start in order to restore our lives, after getting NO help from the authorities, despite many attempts and requests for help. I was fortunate enough to make contact with Stephanie and she put me on a path that has been instrumental in turning our lives around. To you Stephanie I am and always will be eternally grateful.