Stories2018-07-11T14:33:29+00:00

Stacey’s Story

Stacey Rodgers lost her son Dominic to CO poisoning

On a night like many others, Stacey kissed her 10 year old son Dominic goodnight, told him she loved him and went to bed. The next morning when she went into his bedroom, she found him face down.

Stacey saw Dominic was covered in sick and panicked. She called an ambulance and after what felt like ages, they arrived.

After rushing upstairs, the paramedics started opening the windows and doors at the property, telling Stacey to evacuate the house. Not knowing why, Stacey was still convinced her son had frozen to death.

Following an investigation it was announced that carbon monoxide had seeped through the brick work from a neighbouring property whilst they slept, and that Dominic would have been overcome with the poisonous gas within

5 minutes. Upon hearing this Stacey had to ask what CO poisoning was, as she had never heard of it, let alone purchased a CO alarm to alert to her of the danger it posed.Stacey has since set up the Dominic Rodgers Trust to help raise awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning and believes ‘Project Shout is a brilliant endeavour’.

Jilna and Jay’s Story

Shortly after returning from their honeymoon, newlyweds Jilna and Jay Patel woke up feeling unwell in their apartment on a Sunday morning in September 2015.

Jilna felt lightheaded and dizzy, and collapsed in the bathroom. When she called out to him for help, Jay woke up with a severe headache and neck pain. Jay called an ambulance and they were admitted to a local hospital. After several hours of tests, they were both discharged after doctors could not find out what was wrong.

The next day, Jilna collapsed once again shortly after waking up in the lounge, with no strength to move or call out to her husband, Jilna phoned her mum for help from her mobile that she had in her pocket and advised Jilna to call 111. When Jay was awoken by the call, his neck pain and headache were unbearable.

Following some quick thinking from attending paramedics, specialist paramedics were called out and in minutes confirmed the building was ridden with carbon monoxide. The couple was blue lighted to a specialist hospital in East London, where they were treated for severe carbon monoxide poisoning. A CO response unit was called to measure the amount of CO in the their block of apartments and the neighbouring building. The residents of 12 apartments were evacuated as an emergency measure and all gas supplies were switched off.

A man was discovered dead in the apartment underneath the couple’s, and it’s believed that a faulty gas heater, possibly switched on for the first time after the summer, was to blame, after the gas seeped up through an open chimney vent which was left open for damp reasons. Living on his own for the past 30 years, it’s thought that the gentlemen had lain undiscovered for four days, and with the amount of carbon monoxide recorded he would have been dead within 20 minutes.

The couple spent two days in a specialist hospital where they underwent three courses of hyperbaric oxygen treatment before they were discharged. Jilna received 10 further sessions of oxygen treatment after experiencing problems with her hearing.

Still suffering from effects now, Jilna has been diagnosed with hyperacusis, which causes the brain to amplify sounds much louder than normal. This has had a significant impact on day-to-day life, both at work and social events, and Jilna has also experienced some short-term memory loss. Thankfully, Jay made a full recovery after a number of weeks.

Kate Peers’s Story

Mumsnet editor and blogger Kate, her husband and their three young boys aged under six were living in a rented bungalow in November 2015.

Kate had thought several times that the air felt foggy and her head hurt, which she put down to the tumble dryer running and would open the windows to let air in. Kate had also been suffering headaches for weeks but often felt better when out of the house, and her son had suffered from sore eyes but they didn’t think any more of it.

When Kate heard about the new legislation that had come into force, requiring landlords to fit a carbon monoxide alarm in homes with solid fuel burning appliances, she rang her letting agent to ask for an alarm to be installed. Even though her home did not have a solid fuel-burning appliance, Kate was keen to have an alarm installed, as her son slept next door to a room where a gas boiler was installed.

In mid-December, someone came to fit the alarm and one week later, on a Saturday evening whilst they were watching TV, the alarm went off. The gas supply was shut off and the boiler was deemed unsafe. Without a carbon monoxide alarm, it could have been fatal for the whole family.

Roland’s Story

Roland Wessling lost his partner, Hazel to CO poisoning.

On one of many camping trips, Roland woke, disoriented to find his partner dead, next to him.

Roland and his partner were camping fans, enjoyed outside life and were camping in Norfolk when disaster struck. Having used a BBQ to cook their dinner, Hazel and Roland were tidying their camp site, and bought the BBQ, which had been out for several hours, inside the tent, to keep the area tidy, and prevent people taking their equipment.

Unfortunately, despite being visually put out, BBQ’s continue to produce carbon monoxide for several hours after use, and as they slept, both Roland and Hazel were being poisoned by the deadly gas.

Louise’s Story

Louise Aspinall and her family were saved from CO poisoning

Louise had a CO alarm placed near her recently installed boiler and honestly thought something was wrong with the alarm when it activated one day.

Louise rang the gas man, who agreed there was probably nothing wrong with the boiler but advised her to open the windows and doors just incase, and explained how to turn the boiler off. The original boiler fitter returned and said that high levels of carbon monoxide were entering the property through the pipes.

Further investigation discovered that 7000ppm of CO had been emitted from their boiler that day. The CO alarm trigger point is just 300ppm, making it clear how differently this story could have turned out if Louise had not had a CO alarm in her house.

A CO alarm is one of the only ways to protect yourself and your loved ones from this poisonous gas, as Louise’s story illustrates even new appliances, or recently serviced ones can be dangerous.

Rob’s Story

Robert Lyon, Campaign Director behind Project SHOUT

We started Project SHOUT after hearing Stacey’s story and realising that so much more needs to be done to make people aware of both the life threatening dangers of CO but also the low cost solution that could save their lives.

The scary thing is that a lot of people still don’t know about the dangers of carbon monoxide. Those that do often don’t realise that even if you regularly service your appliances, keep chimney’s swept, and do all that you can in your own home to prevent CO presence, it can still occur from adjoining properties. The only sure fire way to protect yourself from this deadly gas is with a carbon monoxide alarm, and the fact that they are so easily accessible and affordable, leaves no excuse for not taking action to protect your family today.
I hope that Project SHOUT raises awareness and makes people see how easy it is to protect themselves.

Leigh’s Story

Leigh Greenham, Director at CogDEM, the Council for Gas Detection and Environmental Monitoring.

Leigh runs CogDEM, the trade association for people who make domestic CO alarms and feels there is still a distinct lack of domestic awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide.

Wanting to get the message across, warning of the risks before it’s too late, Leigh supports Project SHOUT’s aim to raise awareness around this poisonous gas. He advises where to go to find out more information about the symptoms of CO poisoning and discusses ways to protect yourself and your family.

Dr Ellie Cannon

Dr Ellie Cannon, resident GP for the Mail on Sunday, talks about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Writing regularly for Woman, Cosmopolitan and The Spectator magazine, Ellie is a media doctor best known for her
weekly health column in the Mail on Sunday and her regular appearance on Sky News Sunrise.

Dr Cannon discusses who is at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, who the more vulnerable are and how the symptoms can be misdiagnosed as flu. Looking at how carbon monoxide poisoning presents and how Winter is a potentially lethal time due to our increased usage of fuel-burning appliances, Ellie tells us why she’s supporting Project SHOUT this year and gives her advice to parents.

Dr Sarah Jarvis

Dr Sarah Jarvis, explains the dangers of carbon monoxide

Dr Sarah Jarvis is a general practitioner working in Shepherd’s Bush, London, and also works in the mass media to promote health. She is also the health and medical reporter for The One Show, a regular guest on The Jeremy Vine Show, and Clinical Consultant for health website Patient.co.uk.

Sarah Jarvis discusses the dangers of carbon monoxide and the symptoms associated with it, as well as advising on how to avoid becoming a victim of CO poisoning. Supporting Project SHOUT, Sarah wants to prevent people getting ill and more importantly from dying due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Watch the TV Advert

How Can CO Affect You?

Carbon monoxide can kill in minutes; it deprives the body of oxygen, resulting in critically low levels. Oxygen starvation initially leads to flu-like symptoms but can become deadly within minutes, as well as causing long-term organ damage and disease.

Mild Exposure:

Slight headache
Nausea
Vomiting
Fatigue
(often described as ‘flu-like’ symptoms)

Medium Exposure:

Severe throbbing headache
Drowsiness
Confusion
Fast heart rate

Extreme Exposure:

Unconsciousness
Convulsions
Cardiorespiratory failure
Death

Shouting About Carbon Monoxide Alarms