Today’s Mold Talks Heroes guests are Sandi and Kyle, a married couple whose family was devastated by mold exposure. Their story details how difficult it can be to find answers to chronic illness and the lack of awareness given to this indoor contaminant. It took a lucky encounter with a neurologist to finally get the explanation they deserved.
For years, Sandi and their kids experienced a wide range of chronic symptoms that over 50 doctors could not diagnose. It wasn’t until a brain MRI showed mold that they began to look to their environment as the potential underlying cause of their struggles. Unfortunately, their journey did not get easier from there. Between lack of belief from others, improper mold inspections, and remediations, it was a devastating time for their family.
Sandi and Kyle are still on their healing journey and have continued to battle a lack of industry standards, job loss, and finding the right people to help them along the way. Now they are dedicated to reaching the other side of this painful journey and helping as many people as they can who are suffering through similar experiences.
In this episode:
1:15: Sandi discusses how their journey with mold exposure began. Sandi and their son were experiencing a range of symptoms in 2017: from brain fog, numbness, and anger to the inability to speak. It wasn’t until they found a neurologist for their son that they were introduced to the idea of mold.
4:00: Kyle explains how they struggled to determine where the mold was in the home and the improper testing they experienced while searching for the issue. While he didn’t experience any symptoms, he details the diagnoses his family members began to face. "Fortunately, or unfortunately, we had to become very educated on mold."
7:00: Kyle details how eventually he decided to assess their kitchen sink and found a small leak that he decided to investigate further. "I don’t have a lot of allergies, but as soon as I flipped that board up, my tongue went numb. We’d later figure out that it was Stachybotrys."
8:00: Sandi explains her first thoughts after hearing that it could have been mold as the underlying cause of the chronic medical issues. "I was open to it. My intuition just said, 'That’s got to be it.'" On the other hand, Kyle describes how it took him a little while to come around to the idea thanks to the lack of awareness and acceptance of this environmental hazard. As he wasn’t in the home as much as his family due to his job, he wasn’t as affected. "When nothing is working and you’re going to dozens of doctors, though, you have to look at other possibilities."
13:00: Kyle explains the difficulties they faced finding answers initially and how he learned to not trust everyone right off the bat. While he didn’t know what their root cause could be, their main goal was to find the right professionals. Sandi, meanwhile, said that after being aware of mold as a potential, she knew that it was the answer. "I knew that had to be it. Every time we were at home, we felt horrible. Every time we were away, we felt time."
15:30: Sandi and Kyle detail how many doctors their families have seen, especially for their children. They were bumped from professional to professional, who all had different ideas, but nothing actually worked. "For seven years, we were searching for something."
21:00: Sandi and Kyle go through their initial experience with a mold inspection that only took an air sample from the center of the room. As expected, the results incorrectly pointed to no contamination in the home, making them question whether or not the home was the problem. "We thought we were taking the extra step by hiring a professional. We weren’t going to the local hardware store and buying Petri dishes. We went to the length of finding someone that had been highly reviewed and could hopefully tell us what was wrong with the house."
27:00: Sandi and Kyle describe how, after finding the mold, they began to take steps to resolve the mold they found underneath the sink. Unfortunately, their first remediation experience in 2020 was not successful for a variety of reasons, as they explain. They didn’t realize it, though, until their son continued to show high levels of mold in his body. From there, they embarked on their second mold remediation.
33:00: Even after the second remediation, they continued to experience chronic symptoms. Their daughter and son, in particular, began to get worse over time. Eventually, they found out that there was massive mold growth in their shower. After a much more thorough assessment, there were three other locations around their home with mold growth. While he didn’t make a plan, they opted for another remediation company that spent a month decontaminating their home.
38:30: Sandi and Kyle describe their third remediation and the long list of issues they saw throughout the entire process.
42:00: Sandi and Kyle explain how much this experience has absolutely devastated their lives. From the loss of jobs and money spent to the vast impact it has had on their children’s childhood.
46:15: Sandi and Kyle detail lessons they’ve learned throughout their journey that they hope will help others. From listening to intuition and advocating for your own health to helping others suffering from mold exposure, this situation brought a list of lessons to their lives. "You’re on an island. You’re very isolated in this process. We want to help as many people as we can."