Man in coma after living with black mold for months

Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 2:15 AM MST
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ENGLEWOOD, Fla. (WBBH) - A Florida man is in the hospital fighting for his life after suffering an asthma attack on Christmas Eve. His family’s troubles began when Hurricane Ian flooded their home, and toxic black mold appeared.

Kendra Elliot’s bathroom and bedroom are both off limits for her family of five living in Englewood, Florida. Hurricane Ian flooded their home in September, and toxic black mold started growing.

Elliot says neither the landlord nor the Federal Emergency Management Agency would clean the mold, so they lived with it.

Christian Childers, 26, is hospitalized in a medically induced coma after an asthma attack on...
Christian Childers, 26, is hospitalized in a medically induced coma after an asthma attack on Christmas Eve that led to cardiac arrest.(Source: Family photos, WBBH via CNN)

“The wall, when you touch on it, it’s like you can almost push through it,” she said.

The danger culminated in an asthma attack on Christmas Eve that sent Elliot’s fiancé, 26-year-old Christian Childers, into a medically induced coma.

“They were on their way to the emergency room, and they didn’t make it. They had to pull into a fire station, and he went into cardiac arrest. He died, and they had to work on him for an hour to get his heartbeat back before they got him on the way to the hospital,” Elliot said.

The couple have been working to find someplace else to stay since the mold first showed up, but with FEMA denying help and rental rates through the roof, they don’t have anywhere else to go.

Now, in addition to trying to find safe housing, Elliot sits at her fiancé's bedside during visiting hours. She never imagined she’d spend Christmas Day in the hospital.

“I wake up in the morning: ‘Where’s Christian?’ And I sleep with his dirty clothes, just to smell him at night. I wasn’t expecting this. He’s the love of my life, and I just want him to wake up. That’s all I can say. It’s all about Christian right now, and I’m there for him,” she said.

The latest reports from the hospital suggest Childers’ condition may not improve, but his family is not giving up hope.

To add insult to injury, the family’s landlord sent them an eviction notice after Elliot informed her of the hospital stay.

The county says they’ve been in touch with FEMA and are assigning a team to try to help the family with their case.