A woman has been left bedridden and in extreme pain for 35 years because she has been poisoned by mold in her family’s basement.
Dana Anhalt, 37, has suffered extreme pain and allergies since childhood without diagnosis.
The writer from Huntington, New York, was finally told she had Lyme disease in 2016, but despite treatment her health continue to decline.
Dana Anhalt, 37, has been left bedridden from poisonous black mold that was growing in the basement of her family home. Pictured, Dana in hospital
Dana suffered from allergies since childhood and was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease in 2016. When her family realized the mold was poisoning her, doctors ordered her to leave her home without any of her possessions
It was only when the family noticed a musty smell from their basement they realized their home was infested with poisonous black mold.
Doctors ordered Dana to leave her house without her possessions and now the family have raised more than $31,000 (£25,500) to help with the move.
Dana said: ‘I’ve spent all 37 years of my life slowly being poisoned from the inside out.
‘The genetic testing was difficult to look at but it was also one of the most of vindicating things I’ve ever seen. Suddenly, decades of my experience made sense.’
Dana was first sick when she developed glandular fever aged 16 which had long term effect on her health.
She said: ‘When I was a child I was sick quite often.
‘I was plagued with constant sinus infections, repeated bouts of strep, migraines, hormonal trouble and mounting gastrointestinal symptoms.
By 2011, Dana was almost entirely bedridden and vomited from food and pain medication. Pictured, Dana in hospital
‘After my mum passed, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and did not respond to any of the standard treatments.
‘By 2011 I was almost entirely bed bound, and by 2012 I was ravaged with muscle and joint pain so severe that I often vomited from the intensity.
‘I was trapped in a body that could not articulate what I was going through or seek comfort in connection with others.’
Dana developed severe allergies and dropped down to 70 pounds in her twenties and thirties.
It was in 2016 that she was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease.
Dana said: ‘I had been developing multiple chemical and food sensitivities over the years, but they skyrocketed out of control, leaving me with almost nothing left that I could eat.
‘I became allergic to all pain medications, and had no relief from the physical agony.
‘In addition, I was getting outrageous symptoms of histamine excess: rashes, flushing, full body itching and burning so intense that it would keep me up for 10 days at a time.
Her family have helped to raise more than $31,000 to help with the move. The mold had been in the house since there was a flood when Dana was a child
Pictured, a seam of black mold that has been slowly poisoning Dana over the last 35 years
‘I nearly lost my mind. I was diagnosed with Mast Cell Activation disorder, but no one understood why this was happening.’
In 2016 mold remediation specialists discovered there was a rampant black mold infestation which had been there since a flood when Dana was a child.
Dana said: ‘We rushed to find a new apartment and we had to leave all of our belongings, everything I had collected over the years, it was devastating.’
Dana is fundraising for the new apartment, as well as medical treatment.
Dana is trying to help people who also have complex illnesses by studying for a degree in psychology
She is also studying psychology to help others suffering from complex illnesses.
She added: ‘Of course, it has been tempting to give up at times.
‘Not only do I persevere for the sake of my loved ones, but because I feel I truly have something to give back to the community.
‘I look forward to being an advocate for those with complex illnesses; a ballast in the face of the pervasive invalidation in our medical system.’
To donate money, visit Dana’s GoFundMe page.