Family speaks about near-death carbon monoxide experience - KCTV5 News


Overland Park family speaks about near-death carbon monoxide experience

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An Overland Park family overcome by carbon monoxide earlier this week is back home Friday night.

The family of four is lucky to be alive, saved by a passing good Samaritan.

The mother, Glynnis Smith, explained to KCTV5 what happened.

"My son and I went to the store. He went to the Target right around the corner Tuesday night," Smith said. "He got back around 10. I got out of the car first, then he did, and he left it running. He's a new driver, just 16, and doesn't even have a license, just a permit. He forgot the car was running, just forgot it was running."

Smith said she and her family went to bed, but doesn't remember much after that.

"I remember waking up around midnight or 12:30 a.m., feeling hot and cold, that kind of thing. I remember taking my nightgown off, but that's all I remember," Smith said.

The next memory for Smith was waking up in the hospital the next morning, a memory she likely would not have were it not for a passing good Samaritan, David Kabala, who noticed Smith's teenage son passed out on the front yard.

"Obviously, I knew something was very wrong. He was just in a shorts and T-shirt, just lying there, so I got out of my car and asked, 'are you OK?,'" Kabala said.

That was about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday. Kabala was driving to work when he saw the teenage boy face down in the grass of the house at West 121st and Hemlock streets. He immediately stopped to help.

"He was very distraught. He said his family was hurt, and he was saying that they may be dead. I was scared for him and his family," Kabala said.

Kabala called 911. Firefighters arrived and rescued Smith, her sister, and her 9-year-old nephew from the house. The carbon monoxide levels were 40 times higher than the normal level, and with Smith's bedroom being directly above the garage where the car was running, she got the brunt of the poisoning.

"He indicated his mom hadn't gotten him up for school. He didn't know what was going on. He may have tried to get some out but was too weak, exhausted. He got out the door and collapsed," Kabala remembered.

This came on the heels of a scare two weeks prior when Smith said she got dizzy and had firefighters check her home for carbon monoxide.

"We had planned on getting detectors two weeks ago, but we were so busy we actually forgot," she said.

Smith realizes that, if not for Kabala, she and her family likely would not be alive.

"The doctors told me it's a miracle that I'm alive because I had such high levels of carbon monoxide in my system," she said.

All were the result of a mistake by a teenage boy, and a swift act by a passing good Samaritan. Smith said the family didn't have carbon monoxide detectors, but that is something that has since changed. She said they picked theirs up after being released from the hospital.

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