Mum’s hor­ror – poi­soned by his dummy

Some­thing sin­is­ter was mak­ing Elle and her fam­ily very sick

that's life (Australia) - - Contents - Elle Mur­phy, 30, Syd­ney, NSW As told to April Glover

Pulling into the drive­way, I turned to my three boys.

‘This is our new home!’ I beamed, ad­mir­ing the four-bed­room rental.

My hus­band Danny, 32, had been liv­ing in Syd­ney for a few months af­ter start­ing his new job, and the kids and I had just made the big trip from Or­ange.

Zane, 10, Blayze, six, and Lin­coln, three, were so ex­cited for their new bed­rooms and I was glad we were all to­gether again.

Mov­ing boxes into the house, I no­ticed some bro­ken glass scat­tered around the back.

‘Watch out for that!’ I warned the boys, clearing it up. But apart from that, ev­ery­thing else seemed just per­fect.

A few weeks later though, Lin­coln be­gan feel­ing sick, as if he had the flu.

His asthma was play­ing up as well and he had trou­ble breath­ing, so we put him on pre­ven­ter med­i­ca­tion.

Over the next few days, his wheezy coughs grew worse, but I put it down to the stress of mov­ing.

‘It’s been so hec­tic and he’s only lit­tle,’ I told Danny, try­ing not to worry.

Soon af­ter, Blayze’s asthma got se­vere too.

I re­alised some­thing was re­ally wrong when he woke up with some strange al­ler­gic re­ac­tions.

‘Mum, my eyes are so itchy and red,’ he com­plained.

They seemed to be prick­ling with tears and when I in­spected them closer, they were ab­nor­mally blood­shot.

Fright­ened, I no­ticed all three of them had an­gry red rashes all over their skin too.

‘It’s most likely al­ler­gies,’ a doc­tor said. ‘The symp­toms will fade.’

But the boys seemed to get sicker.

Then one day, I was load­ing the wash­ing ma­chine, when I saw con­den­sa­tion run­ning down the walls in the laun­dry. The wa­ter was a strange yel­low­ish colour.

Looks like some­one was smok­ing in here, I thought. That night, I tossed and turned in bed.

‘Danny, I have such a headache and I can’t get to sleep,’ I said.

‘You too?’ he asked. ‘I haven’t slept well for days.’ That weekend, Danny no­ticed some­thing sharp glit­ter­ing in the gravel out­side.

‘Elle, come look at this!’ he called out.

Bend­ing down, I let out a gasp. It was a sy­ringe!

Sud­denly, an aw­ful feel­ing dawned on me.

If drugs had been used in the house, it could be what was mak­ing us ill.

‘We need to get the house tested!’ I told him, shocked.

Go­ing on­line, I bought

All three boys were sick and had an­gry red rashes

some DIY drug test kits.

Af­ter Danny and I had swabbed the place, we were dis­gusted to find our home tested pos­i­tive for metham­phetamine.

To be sure, I booked Meth Screen Ltd, who came and tested the prop­erty for any traces of drugs.

The next day, the man­ager Ryan called with some sin­is­ter news.

‘It’s not good,’ he said It turned out a pre­vi­ous ten­ant may have been cook­ing meth in the house.

The place was rid­dled with the drug and con­tained 7.5 times the max­i­mum level of safe residue. It was in the walls, car­pets and cur­tains. The land­lord had no idea. I was ab­so­lutely hor­ri­fied. Our home was a meth lab! ‘What have we done?’ I cried to Danny. ‘Our chil­dren have been ex­posed to meth!’

We packed a bag each and left the house im­me­di­ately, head­ing to Danny’s par­ents’ place in Kiama.

Con­fused by the abrupt move, I gen­tly ex­plained to Zane, Blayze and Lin­coln why we had to leave.

‘There’s some­thing in the house that’s mak­ing us sick, so we have to go away,’ I told them.

A week af­ter mov­ing out, the headaches and rashes started to fade and the boys felt so much bet­ter.

Think­ing back, I re­alised why my poor baby boy suf­fered the worst symp­toms.

His dummy would have been dropped on the floor many times, which meant he in­gested the meth residue.

I was sick­ened at the thought and rushed to the doc­tors to get his hair tested.

Sure enough, the re­sult came back show­ing traces of meth and co­caine.

‘At least we’re out now,’ Danny soothed.

A month later we found a great place only 15 min­utes away from the old house.

This time, we had it tested be­fore mov­ing in.

We had to throw out all our bed­ding and linen though, as well as the dryer, lounge, mi­crowave and toaster.

It cost us thou­sands to fur­nish the place af­ter dis­card­ing the meth-in­fested items, and our real es­tate agent told us we wouldn’t be com­pen­sated.

For the next few weeks, the boys had to sleep on air mat­tresses while Danny and I slept on the couch.

Thank­fully, the kids seemed to love it!

‘It feels like camp­ing,’ they cheered.

I’m just so glad we left that hor­ror drug den af­ter only a few months.

I shud­der to think how sick we would have be­come if we stayed any longer.

I en­cour­age peo­ple to have their homes tested be­fore mov­ing into a new place.

There should be warn­ings to young fam­i­lies so peo­ple are aware of the risks.

We’re lucky we found out when we did.

We had to throw out the dryer, lounge and mi­crowave

The house was tested and it was highly con­tam­i­nated Our home seemed per­fect on the out­side

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