• 15 JUL 14
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    Desert Rose and the Story of Stray Currents

    From Truthout
    Monday, 14 July 2014 10:05 By Daniel Ross, Truthout | Report

    EXCERPT

    When Kathy Seacrist looks back over the past eight or so years, 2007 marked the beginning of a long nightmare. It was the year that her son, John McDonald, 37 at the time, started suffering from seizures.

    “John was so healthy. Ate healthy. Everything. He was really buff. All my girlfriends fancied him,” she said. McDonald, his daughter Malia, and Seacrist all lived together at her home in Desert Rose, a subsidized housing community in Palm Desert, California.

    In 2009, Seacrist’s own health began to deteriorate rapidly. “It started with terrible sinus infections and got progressively worse. I had slurred speech, my hands couldn’t stop shaking,” she said. By 2010, Seacrist, naturally slight, almost birdlike, someone always proud of staying trim and fit, thought that she was on the brink of death. “I was down to 82 pounds. For a while, doctors thought that I had MS. I told my mom, ‘If it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go.’ ”

    Tests conducted in her home in 2010 revealed the presence of toxic mold spores. “The whole insides of the walls were covered black with mold,” she said. As a result, Seacrist tore out the walls, threw away all of her furniture and conducted ozone shock treatment in her home – a treatment designed to kill all of the toxic mold spores. In April 2011, Seacrist and her son filed a lawsuit against the City of Palm Desert for damages resulting from there being no condensation line connected to the air conditioning unit in her home.

    Despite ridding her home of mold, Seacrist’s health continued to decline.

    The original symptoms didn’t fade, and were exacerbated by insomnia. She started getting knifing migraines, heart palpitations and found herself slipping into a slump of depression. She began experiencing stabbing pains in her feet and legs that were so severe that she eventually had to leave her job as a waitress at the nearby Fantasy Springs Casino through disability.

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