According to Le Figaro, a 27-year-old young woman underwent a lung transplant because a wall in her home was covered in mold for several years. A rare situation, but which highlights the danger of these unsanitary places.
Can mold in a home cause irreversible damage to health? The story that happened to Marine, a young woman testifying in Le Figaro on September 29, sends shivers down your spine. The 27-year-old young woman living in Rungis would have developed a serious illness leading to a transplant of both lungs, after sleeping for several years near mold.
A moldy patch discovered behind the headboard
In January 2020, Marine suffered from a high fever and shortness of breath. She consults a doctor who diagnoses hypersensitivity pneumonia, a pathology that develops in construction professionals or those who work with birds… Which is not the case for the young woman.
”My pulmonologist advised me to look at my home. I inspected the wall behind the headboard and it was contaminated with mold and mildew from the drips.
The damp appearance comes from a crack in the wall, which the young woman had never noticed since she moved in in 2013. For the health professional, Marine must urgently change accommodation. But her state of health deteriorated so much that she was put on the transplant waiting list in February 2022, she received a lung transplant three months later, in May. “A sample from my native lungs, following the lung transplant, confirmed the diagnosis, at a terminal stage.”, she testifies.
Ongoing medical expertise
In her difficult journey, Marine filed a complaint against her social landlord for “endangering the lives of others” and appealed to the judge for summary proceedings to obtain the appointment of a medical expert in order to establish a causal link between the mold and their state of health, and assess the consequences on a personal, professional and autonomy level. The expertise is still in progresss. The social landlord claims for its part that Marine’s report is the only one ever received.
Mold, a risk for the most vulnerable people
Losing the use of your lungs because of a patch of mold near your bed can obviously be scary. The consequence can even be worse: last August, an English newspaper deplored the death of a young man due to persistent mold in his home. But as Dr Gérald Kierzek, emergency physician and medical director of TipsForWomens, told us, although humidity can affect us all, it is especially dangerous for immunocompromised people:
“Humidity is in fact the origin of fungi called Aspergillus, of which there are different forms, but which carry spores through the air, which can be inhaled and which are responsible for 80% of human aspergillosis” .
Aspergillosis can cause allergic phenomena above all, or aspergilloma, “when the spores nestle in a cavity linked to tuberculosis for example“Finally, in immunocompromised people, there may be more serious aspergillosis, which is called invasive.
“The risk affects people whose immune system is weakened: transplant patients taking immunosuppressants, anticancer treatments, HIV-related immunosuppression, etc. In their case, aspergillosis can result in fever, cough, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a rare and serious form of pneumonia. Treatment is based on antifungals to be started quickly. confirmed the doctor.
A fragility that Marine does not deny in the pages of Le Figaro: “Certainly, I have to have a weakened immune system to develop this disease – often, people develop asthma more in response to mold – but even having asthma because of your home is not normal. she maintains.