Layton Woman Says Black Mold Made Her Ill, Forced Family Out of Home
FRUIT HEIGHTS, Utah – Apartment life isn’t exactly what Angie Cella had envisioned for her family, especially since her family had long settled into their Layton home about eight years ago. Four years ago however, something in her started to change.
“I thought it was a migraine,” Cella explained. “It felt like someone hit me from behind with an ice pick in the back of my head. I was doing okay, and then just one day, it dropped me to my knees.”
At first, doctors couldn’t figure out what the problem was either. Eventually, she learned her body was reacting to black mold, hiding under the floors, and inside the walls. While the levels otherwise had no impact on her husband and four kids, she learned she had a rare condition that makes it difficult for her body to filter out the toxins. Her symptoms gradually worsened.
“Then it was my hands and feet were going numb. Then it was I was forgetting words, I couldn’t find my words as I was talking,” Cella said. “I started having weird like nervous system (problems) just twitching in all of my muscles all the time.”
Cella says family members helped her husband clear out, and clean up the mold. They even replaced beds and furniture before moving back in, but apparently her body was still too sensitive to the black mold. Cella, who worked for many years as a trauma therapist, was going through a major struggle of her own. She says the sickness got the worst after Thanksgiving.
“I just thought, ‘I’m dying,” Cella said. “And I need to start writing letters to people, because I don’t think I’ll get through this.”
After about two weeks of treatments, Cella started getting better. She believes one thing helped her pull through.
“You get in a moment like that, and all you have is your faith,” Cella said. “I had been given a blessing, and promised that I would heal; that I would heal completely, and be whole to raise my kids.”
Cella says the kindness of others played a major factor in her recovery too. Family, and people from her congregation in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints taught her to accept help from others.
“I felt humiliated and embarrassed, and yet so filled with gratitude,” Cella said. “I didn’t have words, you know?”
Through the ordeal, Cella says her family was often separated; while her family was safe to stay in the home, she would have to stay with family members, while undergoing treatment. Now, her family is making a clean break; leaving behind most of their belongings, since mold spreads, and starting over.
“They just kind of lost their whole world, you know?” Cella said. “They’re used to having a big back yard, and running and playing, and it’s not there.”
Playing it safe, Cella and her family found a new construction apartment complex. She has a two bedroom apartment, while waiting for a larger unit to open up, that can house her whole family.
“That was the hardest part, was having our family separated,” Cella said.
Though her condition is rare, she wants others to know of the impact that black mold can have on some people. She also emphasizes how important it was to give up the family’s belongings, so that she could make a full recovery.
The family has a GoFundMe page set up for those who want to help with the family’s recovery.
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