Poisoned at home: One family's message to save lives

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MOUNT HOREB, Wis. (WMTV) -- For nearly a decade, one family's health deteriorated. Wheelchair bound and desperate for answers, the Munson family turned to God for an explanation.

All Melissa Munson had known for years was pain. Stricken with wounds that refused to heal, bleeding ulcers, a paralyzed stomach, and never ending migraines, she became desperate for an explanation.

"I felt like we were never going to figure it out," she said,

One of Melissa's doctors, Dr. Joe Teff explained, "A couple more weeks or so she would've been dead for sure. It was eating a hole into her intestine."

Melissa continued, "For six years, we dealt with my issues and thought it was just me and I had, in that time, 10 surgeries."

Medical test after test offered no solutions. That was, until Melissa's husband, Steve, suddenly ruptured his colon.

"It was devastating when Steve got sick because he was deathly ill instantly," Melissa said. "When he got sick, our doctors said I think we need to check out your house."

While Steve, Melissa, and their daughters were at the hospital, Dr. Teff went to their house to investigate.

"I called her and said, 'What's your garage code? I need to get into your house,'" recalled Teff.

When he arrived, Teff found a gas leak.

"The problem is coming up into the bedroom where she was lying all the time and into the bathroom," Teff said.

Teff believes the direct path towards Melissa's side of the bed explains why she suffered for so long.

Steve and Melissa's daughters, Payton and Zoe, suffered from chronic sinus infections and stomach pain through their childhood.

In retrospect, Melissa said there were signs that something in their home was the culprit. Their dog, Cooper, also seemed to have suffered in the home.

Melissa said, "Cooper knew over the six years that something was wrong with this house because he did not want to stay in the house."

As they grew, Payton and Zoe struggled in school. Melissa said she feared her children may have learning disabilities. Melissa and Steve felt it was odd their daughters struggled so much, as they are both teachers.

"It affected all of us. We thought it was just me but it was all of us including our dog," Melissa explained.

Now, the Munson family is hoping their story can save others. Melissa wrote a memoir chronicling their failing health and the search for the search.

"It is just raising awareness because this could happen to anybody so if we could help somebody else avoid what we've been through that would be huge," she said.

The book, "God Only Knows", is available for purchase online at http://www.oliverstory.com

Read the original version of this article at nbc15.com.

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