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Family calls lack of CO detectors in Airdrie condo building ‘pure stupidity and neglect’
Published Tuesday, February 6, 2018 9:22PM MST
Elysha Schlichter and Jayla Thompson say they’ve been heartbroken and furious in the days following the loss of their 12-year-old son Trai who died as a result of a carbon monoxide leak in the condo building they called home in Airdrie.
The couple suspects the source of the carbon monoxide leak was a separation in a pipe attached to their hot water tank, an issue that had prompted visits from plumbers in December and January. The official cause of the leak remains under investigation.
“It’s just pure stupidity and neglect why any unit with those kinds of water tanks wouldn’t have a carbon monoxide detector in them,” said Elysha Schlichter through tears. “We didn’t know that the pipe that was being fixed was also emitting gas. If we had known that, it would have just taken a simple trip to Canadian Tire to buy (a detector) and prevent it.”
Thompson first noticed something was wrong when she awoke Sunday morning and spotted their pet cat in a puddle of vomit. Thompson went to wake up Trai to let him know that she was taking the cat to the vet.
“I kept shaking him and he didn’t get up so I grabbed him and dragged him into the hallway and I started doing chest compressions until firefighters came,” recalled Thompson.
“They took him out on the pavement in the snow and started doing CPR there until the ambulance pulled up,” said Schlichter. “They got a light pulse on the way to the hospital and they just kept pushing and kept trying.”
Trai was admitted to an intensive care unit at the Alberta Children’s Hospital while his mother and her wife received oxygen for several hours to address their exposure to CO. Schlichter says a scan of Trai's brain revealed no activity and the 12-year-old was pronounced dead in hospital.
Schlichter and Thompson appreciate the outpouring of love and support they’ve received from their loved ones and complete strangers following the loss of their son.
The couple is currently making arrangements for Trai’s funeral while securing a new place to live as they have no plans to return to the condo.
With files from CTV’s Brenna Rose