For ten long years, Kathi Wilson battled against an unknown illness. In fact, the mystery ailment apparently made every day a struggle, and, to make matters worse, her doctors had no idea what was causing it. But then in April 2018 three workmen made a dark discovery at Wilson’s home.
Wilson lives in Shelbyville, Indiana, with her husband and daughter. And as far as we know, Wilson had enjoyed a fairly healthy lifestyle. However, in the late 2000s the mother was brought low by a mystery illness.
Yes, the unknown ailment left Wilson battling with recurring flu-like symptoms, muscle pains, tiredness and all-around discomfort. And all these niggles worsened over time until the once-healthy mom was left relying on a cane to walk.
Revealing her symptoms to TV news station WTHR in May 2018, Wilson explained, “I would get dizzy, lightheaded, bronchitis, pneumonia. I lost the ability to use my left leg. Then it started moving to my right leg. I would get nervous twitches. I got to the point I couldn’t concentrate any more.”
So over the course of ten years, Wilson’s condition had worsened until she had no longer been able to move freely. “I felt like an 80-year-old woman stuck in a 40-year-old body,” she confessed. And what was worse, her symptoms had left doctors stumped.
In June 2018 doctor Mary Beth Hensley revealed a handful of the tests Wilson had undergone to CBS TV show Inside Edition. She said, “[She had] cardiac testing, chest x-rays, MRIs [of] the brain, the spine, to see if something was related. I felt we were very thorough but didn’t come up with a solution.”
Yet as Wilson’s inconclusive test results had mounted up, so had the cost of her treatment. And despite all the money she’d forked out, she had still been no closer to a diagnosis. “They kept testing and testing and testing, and everything kept saying ‘No, no, no, no, you’re fine,’” Wilson told WTHR.
However, the fact of the matter was that Wilson had not been “fine” at all. In fact, most days she’d struggled to even pull herself out of bed. And to make matters worse, the more she’d stayed inside, the more rotten she’d felt.
But little did Wilson know that it was actually her home that had been making her sick. Indeed, even when her daughter and husband had gotten pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, it hadn’t cross her mind for a second that all of their illnesses could have been linked.
Bizarrely, Wilson only got answers to her illness when she’d decided to renovate her bathroom. To do so, she had hired three contractors, Doug Tucker of BeSpoke Construction and Mike Evans and Luze Duran from Brothers Contracting, to get started.
After the contractors got to work in April 2018, though, they discovered that Wilson and her family had been slowly poisoned. That’s because there had been a small leak of carbon monoxide coming from their water heater and furnace. As a result, their home had been filled with a gas often dubbed “the silent killer” due to the fact that you can’t see or smell it.
Describing the shocking discovery, Duran admitted, “This actually was the worst I’ve ever seen.” Taking immediate action, he and the other contractors had wasted no time in fixing the leak. And soon afterwards, slowly but surely, Wilson’s debilitating symptoms began to ease.
In May 2018 – the month after work began on her bathroom – Wilson revealed to WTHR, “For the first time in I don’t know, eight years, ten years, I have energy and I almost feel like a kid inside again.” Speaking of her contractors, she added, “They are my angels. They brought my life back to me.”
Later, Wilson’s doctors confirmed that her ailments had indeed been down to the gas leak. Yes, the mother had likely been suffering from chronic carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause dizziness, headaches, stuffiness and fatigue.
In high concentrations, carbon monoxide can of course be lethal. In fact, it’s believed that unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning kills around 400 Americans every year. So bearing that in mind, Wilson and her loved ones arguably had a lucky escape.
Interestingly, Wilson had been aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide. She even had a carbon monoxide detector fixed to her ceiling. However, for some reason, it failed to pick up the levels of gas the family had experienced.
In order to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning, some experts advise placing detectors at knee-level on every floor of your property. Since (as common sense would suggest) people are most vulnerable to poisoning while asleep, you should also consider placing one alarm near your family’s bedrooms.
Other rooms to consider placing a carbon monoxide detector in are the kitchen and the living room. Home security website Safety.com further suggests that it’s here that you’re likely to find the appliances most at risk of a gas leak, including grills, stoves, furnaces and fireplaces.
Following her decade-long ordeal, then, Wilson was full of praise for the contractors who had alerted her to the carbon monoxide leak. “I want to thank you guys for giving me my life back,” she told them in front of cameras from Inside Edition. “I haven’t been this happy in I can’t tell how long.”
However, now that she was free from the grip of carbon monoxide, Wilson was eager to alert others to the dangers. That way, maybe she could help someone else get their life back, too. “In my heart of hearts, I know I’m not the only one that has gone through this,” she told WTHR.