Kamloops family saved from carbon monoxide leak by crying baby

If a Kamloops, B.C. family's crying baby hadn't woken them Friday night, they likely would not have escaped their carbon monoxide-filled home.

'I couldn't quite make it to her room. I was overcome with vertigo and collapsed back down onto my bed'

'I couldn't quite make it to her room. I was overcome with vertigo and collapsed back down onto my bed': Monique Ruppel 2:06
A crying baby is being credited with waking up her parents and saving the entire family from being killed by carbon-monoxide in their Kamloops, B.C., home. 
Kyle and Monique Ruppel sit with baby Celia, in a hyperbaric chamber at Vancouver General Hospital. (Facebook)

On Friday night Kyle and Monique Ruppel were sound asleep, while unbeknownst to them, their furnace was leaking CO.

"We woke up to Celia just stirring a little, crying a little bit, and I got out of bed to go see what was wrong, but I couldn't quite make it to her room," Monique Ruppel told CBC Radio's Daybreak Kamloops. "I was overcome with vertigo and collapsed back down onto my bed."

Her fall woke her husband, and the pair realized they had similar symptoms. They didn't know what was happening, but they knew they had to get out of the house.

The family of three spent three sessions totalling more than six hours receiving treatment inside a hyperbaric chamber. (Facebook)

"Celia was very sick when I got her out of her crib, she was vomiting and very lethargic," said Ruppel.

The family made their way outside and called 911.

They were rushed to Kamloops Royal Inland hospital where they received oxygen therapy. But their doctors decided they needed to be flown to Vancouver General Hospital for more specialized treatment.

'She saved our lives'

After three sessions and more than six hours spent together in a hyperbaric chamber, the family of three is mostly back to normal.

"We're back at work, Celia is back at daycare, and we're expected to make a full recovery," said Ruppel.

The story could have turned out much worse for the young family. At the time of the leak, there were no carbon monoxide detectors in their home.

"[The doctors] explained to us that we were so lucky and that our little guardian angel was Celia, and they did tell us she — she saved our lives," said Ruppel.

Carbon monoxide is odourless and deadly, so it's essential every home be fitted with a smoke and CO detector, say officials. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

"That was really hard to take in at first, realizing the severity of the situation."

Her advice at the end of the ordeal?

"Please, just please get carbon monoxide detectors and check them regularly, and check your furnace regularly. Just stay on top of those things. It's not worth the risk. They're not expensive."

To listen to the full interview, click on the link: Kamloops family credits baby for saving them from carbon monoxide leak.


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