CO victim: 'I don't remember anything'
Juneth Palmer has no memory of being poisoned by fumes from her own furnace. But she's feeling fine now. "I don't remember anything," she said tonight from the room she's sharing with her husband, Dwane, in Hennepin County Medical Center in Minne...
Juneth Palmer has no memory of being poisoned by fumes from her own furnace. But she's feeling fine now.
"I don't remember anything," she said tonight from the room she's sharing with her husband, Dwane, in Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. "It was really lucky."
It's a huge improvement from Tuesday night when she and Dwane were rushed, unconscious, from their home to Riverview Hospital in Crookston, then airlifted to the Minneapolis hospital. Juneth was in guarded condition until late Wednesday.
Dwane, 81, and Juneth, 79, are in satisfactory condition.
Her last memory before it happened was going to bed.
"I had a little bronchial pneumonia and had been to the doctor and wasn't feeling good Monday, so I went to bed early," she said.
Dwane soon joined her.
She didn't awake until about 9 p.m. Tuesday when her son, Marc, police, firefighters and emergency workers finally got into the upstairs bedroom where she lay unconscious in bed.
Dwane was lying unconscious, too, but on the floor, where he had been for 21 hours, she said. Trying to get to the telephone for help, he got wrapped in the cord, tripped and fell, too far under the influence of deadly carbon monoxide.
Their son, Leslie, lives next to them on East Fifth Street in Crookston and tried all day Tuesday to contact them. He finally called 911 at 8:48 p.m.
When police and firefighters arrived, their other son, Marc, helped gain entrance into the house and find the couple on the second floor.
The house has two carbon monoxide detectors.
Dwane had disconnected one Monday evening when it went off.
"We weren't too shrewd," Juneth said.
The other detector could be heard from outside the house Tuesday evening as the rescue commenced, according to law enforcement officials.
"I don't remember anything, except my daughter-in-law telling me, 'It's OK,' " and to breathe," Juneth said. "She's a nurse, too."
Police said that a reading taken in the Palmers' home found 300 parts per million of carbon monoxide, the odorless, invisible gas that kills. That's way above safe levels and enough to kill, given enough time.
Experts say anything above 35 ppm is not safe after eight hours exposure. Fortunately, the Palmers were found in time, after a full day exposed to what a faulty furnace system did.
Police said the furnace exhaust smell was so strong, it causes rescuers' eyes to burn. It was clear the furnace was not venting properly, and was filling the house with soot.
The whole thing is sort of hazy for Juneth.
"You don't realize it," she said of the insidious gas. "It's a deadly thing."
Her son told her today the oil furnace is fixed.
But the house is a mess, she said, filled with soot that got on everything.
"Our little pets are OK; we have a cat and two dogs. But they are pretty black," she said.
With her children down in Minneapolis visiting Wednesday, Juneth had no complaints.
"My husband and I, they put us in a room together, which is very nice. It's a wonderful hospital."
"I don't know, I might get to come home tomorrow," she said. "Dwane will have to stay another day. He hurt his hip when he fell. It's pretty sore."