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Last Updated
03/09/14 09:13 PM

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Mold CAN KILL YOU, and it's Hell finding out first hand
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If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.

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by Jimmy McDonald of StartRemodeling.com and ToxicMoldUSA.com
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( updated Sunday March 09, 2014 09:13 PM )

Hello to ALL of You,

I'm Jimmy McDonald, YOUR "Local Hard Working RemodelingGuy". I'm the head cook and bottle washer for the websites at StartRemodeling.com and ToxicMoldUSA.com, two of the most visited Toxic Black Mold Solutions sites in the World. We consider ourselves to be Leaders in Black Mold Education, Protection, Solutions and Elimination on the Net and yet ...... I have been to the Emergency Room 3 times in 19 days, two times by Ambulance, spent 5 days in the hospital and come a few breaths from dying in front of my daughter and grand-daughter TWICE.

 I want to share my on-going fight to Stay Alive with you, after my home was infested with Toxic Black Mold (Stachybotrys - Click Here for description) from a simple shower leak caused by bad grout. I feel like this is something I ought to share with you. The last few weeks have been what we refer to down here in Texas as
a "Come to Jesus" experience.  I've never been so scared and I don't want it to ever happen again, but maybe some good can come of it.  Maybe a LOT of Good. My sites have been designed to make a profit and in some ways take advantage of the " Toxic Black Mold Scare" of the last 5-6 years. I don't feel guilty for providing a valuable service to people who need it by any means, but I never realized how scared some of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis truly are. I was like the reporter on the other end of a pen and telling it the way I saw it. It was always other folks that were experiencing the problems. I was just telling the world about it. I'd like to change this and become more involved. I've seen a side of Toxic Black Mold issue that I never expected to and am in a position to help. ( more on that as the days progress)

The point I want to make to you, sometimes in embarrassing detail, is that it doesn't matter how much you Educate yourself about Molds in your environment. If you don't dot the i's, cross the t's and ELIMINATE THE MOLD COMPLETELY, it can sneak up on you, bite you on the butt and change your life forever.

I consider myself to be educated about the cause and effects of Toxic Molds in our daily lives. I have spent countless hours Researching Mold and Mycotoxins and shared it with Millions of Visitors to my websites. I've Built Quality Relationships with Top Notch Toxic Black Mold Professionals all over America.  I've Studied State and National Guidelines, visited many wonderful sites and discussion groups out there for victims of diseases attributed to Toxic Molds, Medical Questions and Studies etc. for research. Become familiar with the warning signs and problems associated with many different mold related ailments. I've helped Thousands of OTHER famalies around the country to Identify and Eliminate these problems in THEIR lives and I have to tell you, from the bottom of my heart....   I never, in my wildest dreams, thought that something like this could EVER happen to me.

The Beginning - Best place to start I guess

In early 2004, I noticed some dampness coming from my bathroom. It was on the bottom perimeter of 3 wallsoutside of my shower enclosure and I addressed the problem as I believe 99.9% of you would do. I dried it,  cleaned the carpet and tile flooring that adjoined the bathroom and even sprayed down some great Mold Killer because the baseboards were wet - Not testing to be sure I had solved the problem (and I get my Mold Test Kits for Free) could have been the worst mistake I ever made.

And remember as I tell this, that there was No Visible Mold left! No Smell of Mold. No Water Streaks. That problem was in the past and I'd all but forgotten about it.

Life deals us odd twists and turns. Some things you Never see coming.

For several weeks preceding May 5th, 2004, I was waking up with what I would describe as a Pressured / Chilly  feeling in my chest that caused me to cough for a while in the mornings. I attributed it to 28 years of smoking (Yes, I smoked - past tense - I promise kids) and knew I would have to deal with it. I would work on quitting smoking tomorrow or the next. No Big Deal. I had time, but would have to put up with the discomfort if I chose to keep puffing. Before all of this started to happen, I was a healthy 42 year old Grandpa with absolutely No history of Respiratory Problems, No Asthma, No Breathing Problems - Nothing that I or Doctors have ever picked up on at all.

That came to a SCREECHING HALT on May 5th, 2004.

I have been to the Emergency Room 3 times in 19 days, two times by
Ambulance, spent 5 days in the hospital and
came a few breaths from
dying in front of my Daughter and Grand-Daughter TWICE.!

Chronology: Trip to the Emergency Room #1 - May 5th, 2004

On Wednesday, May 5th, 2004, I started having trouble breathing in the morning. I just couldn't get a full lung of air, got very tired walking short distances and couldn't do anything in a hurry. I called my Doctor, a G.P. and made an appointment for the next day! It was getting pretty bad. When I went to bed that night, I was a little worried, but not scared, and the thought of a trip to the Emergency Room had never crossed my mind. I'd never been to the Emergency Room. ( I'm a Texan Remodeler and we tough things out down here- hmmm )
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I got up around 4 o'clock in the morning to walk around and suddenly got very weak and taking baby steps was a chore. I woke up my daughter and told her that I had to run to the Emergency Room to check it out and not to wake anyone up. I was fine, just needed to have it looked at. So, I waddled to my car and headed to Christus St. Catherine Hospital in Katy, TX., about 7 to 8 minutes from my house.
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By the time I got there, I parked 20 feet from the Emergency Room doors and my breath was so short that I couldn't speak. NOW, I was scared. Terrified is more accurate. I made it to the Information desk and the receptionist glanced up, looked at me funny and asked my name. I just stared blankly and and pointed to my chest and throat, every short breath a chore. I didn't know the universal sign language for I CAN'T BREATHE - GET ME HELP NOW PLEASE! I DON'T WANT TO DIE!
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She finally got the message, ( I know she was aching to get my insurance info before I got in ) and some Emergency Staff rushed me into the back, started to give me Oxygen and Albuterol, poking my arm for an IV and trying to help me get a lung full of air. It took forever, (probably 30-40 minutes) but I finally started to be able to breathe in deeper and deeper.
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I remember apologizing to God for not spending more time communicating with Him and wanting to tell my kids and my grand-baby that I Loved them. I also have a deep caring for the emergency room staff that helped me breathe again. I'm sure they will never think of me again, as this is what they do. I can't begin to tell you how much respect this ordeal has given me for entire Realm of Emergency Medical Techs. Great Folks who never expect to be thanked and you can tell they are almost as relieved as you are when everything turns out all right. Anyway ....

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Easy Explanation and the Cure is Simple! Or is it?

Well, after about 3 Double Albuterol treatments .. my first, and an arm-full of Steroids, I was breathing again and my color was coming back. They came and took a chest x-ray, some blood work, poked and prodded on me and then went their separate directions to analyze what they had.
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When the Doctor came in, naturally, his first question was "Do you smoke?"
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Well, that was my conclusion during the whole process. Had to be smoking. He looked at my x-ray and there was no pneumonia, but he said there was some bronchitis and a very early stage of emphysema. It would all go away with anti-biotics and I had to Quit Smoking Now!
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After a couple of hours, they had me stabilized and I felt fine. The doctor recommended that I stay and let him observe me in the hospital just to make sure, but I told him I wanted to go home, would take the antibiotics, steroids and Albuterol inhaler he recommended, Quit Smoking, get healthier and left knowing all was going to be fine.

Haven't smoked a cigarette since though and hope I never do again..  I went to Walgreens, picked up my drugs and went to work feeling very lucky to be there. I called all of the right family and folks for my 15 minutes of pity to make sure they were all concerned, and knew about my trip to the ER.  Gradually,  Life took over and i was busy at work again. I WAS CERTAINLY GLAD THAT WAS OVER !
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Or Was It?: Trip to the Emergency Room #2 - May 12th, 2004

On the morning of May, 12th, 2004, two days after my antibiotics and steroids had run out, I was feeling pretty drained. I was starting to feel worse than the previous few days, but no where near as bad as I felt on May 5th.  This time I knew if I started having REAL trouble breathing, I was going to the Doctor post-haste and "Nip it in the Bud". The morning started on an ordinary note and I was doing some updates to the site from my home computer. I started to cough a bit and felt this was probably good for me... the antibiotics were working any infection I had in my lungs out.

SUDDENLY AND OUT OF NO WHERE, I STARTED TO COUGH AND MY LUNGS SHUT DOWN. I COULDN'T PULL A BREATH IN AT ALL. THE WORST FEELING I HAVE EVER HAD IN MY LIFE CAME OVER ME. I LOST ALL BODILY FUNCTIONS AND SHUT DOWN. - Scary stuff eh?

I stammered over to my daughters room and banged LOUDLY on the door to get her out there. When she saw me, she started to cry, knowing something was VERY WRONG. I held up my fingers 5-4-1-1 - 5-4-1-1. My other hand was on the couch and I couldn't talk. I was gasping for breath and trying to get the inhaler the Doctor had given me to penetrate past my throat. It was just spraying there and wasn't helping at all. My daughter called an ambulance and then grabbed her Nebulizer ( a machine that Asthmatics have that atomizes Albuterol to get it into their lungs immediately ) and told me to try it. I threw it over my mouth, gasping, sweating and I only say this to give you the entire picture of what was happening to me, peeing on myself. I finally managed to get what felt like a little air ( I mean LITTLE) into my lungs and could hear the sirens coming. My daughter ran to the door to wave them down and let them in as my grand-daughter looked at me, terrified by what was going on around her. It took seven (7) minutes for the Ambulance EMT's to get to me after the 911 call. I was white as a ghost and they just threw me on the stretcher and ran me to the ambulance with some Oxygen on my face, which was no help that I can remember. Once they mixed in the Albuterol with the Oxygen, and I relaxed a bit, I was pretty close to getting a breath and felt I might have a chance now.

Most of the Critical work was done in the Ambulance. The EMT managed to help me take some good air into my lungs and then we took off for St. Christus Hospital again. - I have to tell you at this point that I have never been so close to my God. By the time we got there, I had a little color and the steady pouring of sweat from my body had subsided.

Basically, the ER folks did all of the same stuff. Albuterol treatments, Steroids in an IV, X-Ray, antibiotics etc.

When the Doctor came in, he told me I had a "Mucus Plug" caused by the infection loosening up that got trapped in my airway . He prescribed me a more potent antibiotic, more steroids and this time gave me a prescription for the Albuterol packs to fit in my Daughters Nebulizer.

If it had not been for that Nebulizer at my home, I would have been without air for almost 10 minutes and truly, from the bottom of my heart, believe that there is NO WAY I would be able to share this with you. I absolutely believe I would be dead or at least brain dead. I don't leave home without one anymore.

So, I was out of the ER in 4 hours and on my way home with more questions than answers. Everything the Doctor had told me seemed to make sense and I didn't want to be one of those folks that doubted the Doctors. They knew what they were doing. I went home, once again stopping at Walgreens for my drugs. I didn't go back to work that day! Life was taking on a whole new meaning for me and my family. My Daughter wouldn't get more than 5 feet away from me, ( I kept seeing her look at my chest to see if it was moving while I laid down to rest) My grand-daughter (she's 3 by the way) was not impervious and was Loving on Papa. WHAT A DAY!
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Still had NO CLUE what was causing all of this and MOLD was a Non Issue. Never Brought Up!

Time to get some ANSWERS!: Trip to the Emergency Room #3 - May 23rd, 2004

I will finish this SOON!...
I think this may help someone and I need to spend the time to write it all down. It's been 2 years now and I will get from 2004 to my heart stent and complete respiratory shutdown on February 2006.
( updated Sunday March 09, 2014 09:13 PM )

MY NEW GOAL: From now on, I will do my best to make myself more available to those of you who are concerned about your health and want to work on some solutions. E-mail is probably easiest, as the sites keep me and my staff pretty busy, but feel free to call if you have an urgent question and I will help you in any way I can. My contact info is:


Jimmy McDonald - President
jimmy@startremodeling.com - << Special "Health Issues" email address to reach me
http://www.StartRemodeling.com
http://www.ToxicMoldUSA.com
Toll Free - 1-888-336-MOLD (6653)


Stachybotrys sp. - Aw (water activity) - 0.94, optimum Aw (water activity) - >0.98. Several strains of this fungus (S. atra, S. chartarum and S. alternans are synonymous) may produce a trichothecene mycotoxin- Satratoxin H - which is poisonous by inhalation. The toxins are present on the fungal spores. This is a slow growing fungus on media. It does not compete well with other rapidly growing fungi. The dark colored fungi grows on building material with a high cellulose content and a low nitrogen content. Areas with relative humidity above 55% and are subject to temperature fluctuations are ideal for toxin production. Individuals with chronic exposure to the toxin produced by this fungus reported cold and flu symptoms, sore throats, diarrhea, headaches, fatigue, dermatitis, intermittent local hair loss, and generalized malaise. The toxins produced by this fungus will suppress the immune system affecting the lymphoid tissue and the bone marrow. Animals injected with the toxin from this fungus exhibited the following symptoms: necrosis and hemorrhage within the brain, thymus, spleen, intestine, lung, heart, lymph node, liver, and kidney. The mycotoxin is also reported to be a liver and kidney carcinogen. Affects by absorption of the toxin in the human lung are known as pneumomycosis. This organism is rarely found in outdoor samples. It is usually difficult to find in indoor air samples unless it is physically disturbed. The spores are in a gelatinous mass. Appropriate media for the growth of this organism will have a high cellulose content and a low nitrogen content. The spores will die readily after release. The dead spores are still allergenic and toxigenic. Percutaneous absorption has caused mild symptoms.

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