To hear Joan's recounting
of her family's tragic story, listen to this 51-minute audio interview conducted by momsAWARE's
Joan, her husband, and their two children were stationed in Hawaii in the spring of 2006. Upon seeing their prospective military home, Joan noticed mold in the cabinets. She mentioned the mold, was dismissed, and thought nothing of it.
Joan was five months pregnant when they moved in, and within six days found herself in the emergency room with severe vision issues. She felt like she was going blind. "It felt like someone put Saran Wrap over my eyes," she says. "Everything was blurry, and there were lights in my vision." Doctors found nothing wrong and sent her home. The vision disturbances continued with no explanation.
After two months in the home, the downstairs bathroom toilet overflowed. Raw sewage covered the carpeting. The housing maintenance workers steam-cleaned the carpets and left. Now seven months pregnant, with her husband deployed to Iraq, Joan requested that the carpets be replaced. "There were things growing underneath," she recalls. She asked to be moved, but her request was denied. The manager insisted this was not his responsibility. "He told me it was my job to clean it up," she says. Leaks from the upstairs bathroom into the downstairs were ignored or improperly fixed.