The last few months of the life of Angelika S. who was chemically sensitive

Chemical Sensitivity – MCS is recognized as a disease and as a physical disability in Germany. The disease is coded at ICD-10 with T78.4 as an organic disease. One might think that people with MCS get proper medical treatment, are treated with fairness like other disabled people, get special workplaces and receive help. Sadly all of this is still lacking in Germany. People with MCS are left without medical attention and accommodations. If their families are unable to take care of them they are lost. For the very sick this sad and unacceptable situation can end in disaster as in the following authentic case.

The last few months of the life of Angelika S.

The last few months of the life of Angelika S.

Six months ago Angelika S. was still doing fairly well. She lived with her family in a suburb of a German town. She loved animals and had a small animal hostel. She also cared deeply about other people.

I got to know her through my cousin who often visited her and mentioned four months ago that Angelika too had strange symptoms similar to my own. Suddenly, she didn’t tolerate fabric softeners – the shower gel of her family, the deodorants and a lot more now made her sick. My cousin told her about me and so we got in touch, first writing letters. She was looking for informational material about chemical sensitivity and I was sending it to her. About the same time I heard that she couldn’t tolerate the furniture and the flooring anymore and was sleeping on the kitchen floor on blankets. From now on everything went incredibly fast…

Nearly every day my cousin called me to report new intolerances. Because of the heat in August, she could only sleep outside on the patio on a kind of futon mat made from compatible materials. Then even this wasn’t possible anymore for her…

Calling an environmental doctor she was told, she would have to wait several weeks (vacation etc.). Then I could contact to her on the phone too. She was able to talk only five or seven minutes, because in addition now she had become electromagnetically sensitive.

Then I gave her the advice to drive to a nature area in her neighbourhood. She did so with her husband each morning between 7 and 8 o’clock. There she did much better. But it speeded up:  difficulty in breathing… heart palpitations …. decreased muscle tonus in the arms and legs …. pulmonary problems …. everything took a turn for the worse.

Since she couldn’t use the phone anymore, I talked to her husband instead. In September he brought her to an abandoned campsite of his club and they slept in the car…in small cars…she in her car and he in his car because his one was contaminated with chemicals from his work. During the daytime he had to drive 25 kilometres to his workplace and to leave her alone there. In the evening he was cooking the meals for her and brought them to her… again 25 kilometres … The nights in the car… bad for the joints.

Then her husband called the environmental doctor again and got the advice to arrange a clean room for her in their house. He should tile the room and keep her in it. So he removed the floor, tiled the room and painted the walls with safe chalk paint. Angelika still was at the campsite, alone during the daytime and it started to get colder…Two air purifiers where bought from PureNature, oxygen for the ride to her home… and then the attempt to bring her back to the new safe room. During the whole time her husband had to take time off from work which got more and more difficult. They had to worry that he would lose his job too.

When she was back at home, my cousin couldn’t come for a visit anymore. Also no one from the family could come to see her. When her son came, she had to escape, and had no contact to her beloved grandchild.

I have had Multiple Chemical Sensitivity for over ten years now, but I had the chance to grow into the situation and I know what isolation means. The soul suffers…tears come…sometimes depression…and when there is no or little hope and you do not really know what will happen to you…then everything is even worse.

But Angelika was learning fast and tried to avoid everything which made her sick; she ate organic food and changed everything.  But it takes time until all smells are out of a general household.

I supported her as much as I could by calming her down and providing her with information…Then the appointment with the environmental doctor came…He said that she has full blown Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and suggested a therapy only of B12 shots for six weeks daily with added B1 and B6. She started his therapy, but everything got worse.

Angelika had reached the end stage of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity in only six months.

When she still wasn’t doing so badly – that was in September this year – I had offered her a invitation to come to my place and try it here, but she wanted to try first the tiled room at home.

Last Saturday her husband called me to tell me that they had to drive to the forest or to a graveyard each night.  Otherwise she wasn’t able to breathe…The heating period made the air in the town intolerable for Angelika. Each night she suffered from heart palpitations, shortness of breath and many more symptoms.

I told them to try to come over to me and so they arrived at nine o’clock Saturday, October 25th.

The last days of the life of Angelika S.

She arrived totally exhausted with a mask and heavy use of oxygen on the ride. We placed her on the porch.

For me her clothes were totally contaminated from her environment. I had to keep distance. Then she wanted to change her clothes.  I offered her some of my clothes, but she couldn’t tolerate them. I had used an unscented safe washing powder which I tolerate very well.

AngelikaTo let her into the house we had to shower her in the evening. I found old jogging pants of my husband’s and a cotton pullover; both had not been washed for a long time, and socks…

But on what should she sleep? She couldn’t tolerate wood anymore, no natural wood furniture. It didn’t matter if it was old or not. She even couldn’t tolerate the very old closet in the room we arranged for her. She wanted to sleep on the floor on linen which had not been washed for a long time and on a blanket which had been hanging in the attic for a long time too.

The windows to the forest were open all night and all day…

We live here in Germany in a wide forest area at Vogelsberg and so she was doing well with the clean air. However, last Monday it got damp and foggy and we had bad weather.

Her hope vanished that she would slightly recover here, but she wanted to try.  She didn’t want to go back…

Angelika - Very sick woman - Multiple=

Either she lay or sat on the porch …. I cooked for her, gave her much water to drink …. tried everything possible to help her to restore her soul and mind …. told her about CSN and other sufferers who had recovered by avoiding substances and by isolating themselves. Each day we left for a walk in order to get some fresh air. So far she was still able to walk for an hour.  On Tuesday, though slowly, she was able to walk until a car passed by and left exhaust emissions, which affected her in spite of her mask.

Then she said she couldn’t live a life as I do, without people around her and in isolation for such a long time and then it got worse and worse.  She had no hope that she could stay here any longer because she couldn’t tolerate the damp air especially during the nights.  She refused to eat or drink anymore.  She was in despair and her mucous membranes were – as in her home – bright red and swollen.

She had to leave, but where to go????

We were considering many possibilities: Switzerland, North Sea…back to the campsite because there is not that much forest in its neighbourhood…setting up an aluminium shed…but how to heat it…and so forth…

On Wednesday at 3 o’clock p.m. the son of my cousin came with a big car which was safer than her car. Her husband and we said goodbye…

They didn’t know where to go…they didn’t know…what to do….so they first drove back to her tiled room and then to the close-by nature site.

She survived the ride at five degrees Celsius inside the car and then I heard nothing from them anymore.

On Thursday afternoon when her husband had to go to work and go shopping for food, she put an end to her life!  I did not learn of it until Friday evening because it was the wish of her husband.

We are in deep grief about this lovely person…a human…who still could be living if there was accommodation for cases like hers in Germany. If there was just one clinic to go to which had clean rooms as at the Environmental Health Center in Dallas / USA. If we just had doctors who could diagnose chemical sensitivity in time.  If we just had support for the relatives who don’t know why all this happens.

This ignorance and intolerance about environmental diseases MUST stop. These are diseases that have been described by scientists like Prof. Martin Pall and others.  It’s well known what these diseases DO exist.

I have seen two suicides since last July.

  • Two precious humans who didn’t know what to do because of their boundless despair.
  • Two humans who felt as a burden to their families.
  • Two humans who had worked hard all their lives.

We lament Angelika S. and we are shocked because of the lack of help for people with severe Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

May the God of solace comfort the suffering of the relatives and may they find hope that their suffering is not forever…

That it will not be like this forever…

That the suffering stops some day…

And that some day there will be a recovery of all things lost…

Authors: Wolfgang and Mona B., Silvia, CSN – Chemical Sensitivity Network November 2009

22 Responses to “The last few months of the life of Angelika S. who was chemically sensitive”

  1. Eva Caballé 19. November 2009 um 16:38

    I’ve just read Angelika’s history and I’m deeply moved and shocked. I feel sad, angry and I feel powerlessness.
    We need MCS real recognition NOW. No more lives wasted!!
    My condolences for both families.

  2. Susan K. 19. November 2009 um 18:24

    My heart goes out to Angelika for all she has suffered and also to her husband and caring understanding friends…..
    My heart breaks for all of the needless suffering that is being allowed to continue, with this dreaded illness, and all of the multi-system illnesses….
    As an MCS sufferer myself, I vow to do my best to continue to educate and voice our needs so Angelika’s story may bring awareness to help others….

  3. Angel De Fazio 19. November 2009 um 18:39

    We need to make sure, that this is the LAST one whose life ends this way!

  4. Francisca Gutiérrez Clavero 19. November 2009 um 19:07

    We lament the loss of Angelica deeply. This feeling is extensive of all the affected Spanish that ASQUIFYDE represents.


    Silvia, we requested to him transmits all our affection and support to the family of Angelika.

    You receive our more shared in common hug.

    Francisca Gutiérrez Clavero
    Presidenta Asquifyde

    (translate spanish-english internet)

  5. Alena 19. November 2009 um 19:08

    I feel sad…My condolences for both families.

  6. Ashley Hotz 19. November 2009 um 19:27

    This story is both sad and startling. I mourn for anyone with this horrible chemically induced illness. More people need to realize that neurotoxins are impregated into thousands of products and it’s getting worse every day. The U.S. Geological Survey for example lists hundreds of items that are impregnated with pyrethroid pesticides which remain in cloth even after multiple washings. Pyrethroids are also impregnated into animal feed, food containers, sheets, food containers, ink, dyes, and a huge number of other materials.

    The chemical / pharmaceutical companies profit on both sides of the picture, first in the sale of their toxic products and then again when we, our children, and our animals get chronically ill from constant exposures. Then they profit again when we need drugs,medical devices, and medical imaging technologies (chem/pharm owns many of the patents on diagnostic imaging products). ALL of the big chem/pharm companies produce and own many products and therapies that are utilized when we become sick. And here in the US chemicals are not required to be proven safe before marketing them. The public is almost completely unaware of this fact, and still believes we are protected. Even the EPA and FDA are complicit as they enable these corporations to literally get away with murder.

  7. Susan Brinchman 19. November 2009 um 19:34

    I read this poignant article with a feeling of dread, as I could envision how it might end. As a person who developed MCS from mold exposures in my workplace, and as founder and Executive Director of an American nonprofit about mold in schools, I can say that Angelika’s increasing and desperate distress is not uncommon. My condolences to her family. This is not the first suicide I have heard of, though I hope it is the last. The most tragic thing of all is that there are some doctors in the world who do know how to treat this illness, but one must be wealthy to receive their help – or have local fundraisers to do so. In Germany, where I understand MCS is a medical diagnosis that has been recently accepted, the government should bring in Dr. William Rea of Dallas, TX, to provide instruction for the medical doctors there. We are literally poisoned by mold and chemical exposures … the very tragic experience that Angelika and her family went through is becoming more and more common. Millions are sickened in the USA by moldy buildings and 68% develop MCS, according to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker ( Visit for more information.

  8. Lynn 19. November 2009 um 20:17

    What a heartbreaking story. I just want to add my sincerest condolences to you and Angelika’s other friends and family. I’ve lived since ’98 with debilitating MCS. Angelika’s life serves as a sad comment on society where people with MCS are left alone with no help to fend for themselves. It takes more than a caring family and friends to get them through. It takes clinics, professional help and medicines. Just having a doctor who understands is a great benefit most do not have. Anyway, in spite of the desperation, I do have hope that thing are changing as we organize and direct our precious energies into voicing our needs. Thank you for posting her tragic but important story. I hope everyone takes the time to read and think about how they can make a difference in getting clinics and help for all the desperate, confused, sick and isolated Angelikas out there.

  9. Mara 19. November 2009 um 20:27

    Angelika, my heart and being go out to you, that you felt taking your life was your only option. I pray you have found peace. My condolences go out to your family.
    I hope that someday the governments of the world will give us what we need so we can come out of our make shift safe places and into life again and receive the help and support we need. That one day the world around us finds compassion in their hearts to treat us kindly.

  10. Fred Fischer 19. November 2009 um 21:01

    Dear Silvia,

    the tragedy of Angelika S. shows just once again , that human life is worth nothing in Germany, whenever the German National Healthcare System has decided, that the patient has genetic material of inferior quality and she has therefore forfeited her right to receive life-supporting therapy or at least qualified pain relief , even as someone with maybe absolute histamine and medicament intolerance.Such a person is simply being turned into unprotected prey, which German Government Medicine does by stigmatizing the chemically impaired as being psychosomatic or mentally ill, and sometimes they even incapacitate them, which then excludes them from effective medical help. Yes, it is as simple as that!

    Besides, the right to die silently and swiftly is only reserved for insects here in Germany.

    I can very well understand , what Angelika must have been through.

    Seeing is believing ! This is why every patient with the disease at caption, should take (or have taken) as many pictures as possible about the course of the ailment, together with absolute credible witnesses (not family members).

    In view of the German Administrative Medicine, the patient and victim is in almost all cases declared to be a liar and defrauder , and the Government Health Officer determins as to whether or not the patient is entitled to receive life supporting therapy, regardless to whatever independent high ranking physicians have objectively established the help measures.

    This has always been the situation in Germany , and this corruption has never changed since about 70 years.

    I know what I am talking about, because I escorted my wife through terrible agony and atrocity to her final death in Germany during the past 17 years, after Dursban L.O. pesticide intoxication in Florida from 1989-1992. She feared to die a forceful death here in Germany, which is exactly what happened (on January 27.2009), according to the not yet terminated lab explorations of the pathology departments and the findings of district attorneys on 2 continents, dealing with her remains and the influence of men to force her into death.

    As far as I am concerned, there is manslaughter involved in her death, and I shall not rest until the perpetrators are brought to justice, by whatever means, if the various prosecutors should decide to move this case into a dormant file.

    I hope that more people will defend their rights here in Germany, because history is well on its way to repeat itself anyway. But it may be too late already!

    Fred Fischer

  11. Linda Delp 19. November 2009 um 21:18

    Such a terrible and unavoidable tragedy. It is so sad that there are so many people that are suffering this terrible illness all over the world. How can our leaders allow this to happen? History will tell the story how greed and corruption changed so many lives in such a short span of time since our earth was created.

    I am very sorry for Angelika’s family. Someone could have helped her. Linda

  12. David Palma 19. November 2009 um 22:59

    It’s so sad! One more life stolen.
    My condolences for her family and especially for her husband. He must feel so, so sad and powerlessness.

  13. Cathy 19. November 2009 um 23:51

    Terrible and shocking news
    This must not happen again – NEVER!
    My condolences for both families.
    I feel very sad

  14. Karen Grigg 20. November 2009 um 02:50

    There must be a way for ALL of our voices to be heard by the world leaders, via the media. If this story and all the storied told be ALL the sufferers went to air on all the network TV stations all on the same day, will that then get through to those world leaders and the the rest of the general public as a huge serious warning about chemicals.
    If all of us contact all the news medias to do the biggest chemical warning story it will get noticed.

  15. Jordina Mellado 20. November 2009 um 03:15

    I would like to give all my affection and support to Angelika’s family, especially to her husband.He has done her best, as well as you Silvia, both try not to forget it. I wish this hard time could be less painful soon.

    This events can’t be forgotten for the Government, we should fight for it.

  16. Kathy 20. November 2009 um 04:13

    My heart aches for the pain, desperation and hopelessness she felt. I also suffer with MCS and hope I can protect myself from getting worse from all the exposures that occur each and every day I walk outside my home and am assaulted by laundry, car, lawn chemical fumes, personal toiltries, etc. I think my only hope is severe isolation and living only with others who are commited to a chemical free lifestyle. I see myself getting worse and the hopelessness is scary. I am not sure the world will wake up fast enough to save me from the error of their ways.

  17. Tommy Knight 20. November 2009 um 19:35

    Iv’e been chemical sensitive since childhood. Now 56 and very dependent on my family. I’ve found that those who become chemical sensitive after maturity have a far more difficult time adjusting to their newly imposed lifestyle. Words cannot convey the over-whelming sense of anguish and isolation that this disease exhibits.

  18. Helen Melissakis 21. November 2009 um 00:03

    Like Angelika I also began to deteriorate quickly once I became chemically intolerant. Unlike Angelika I had very little family support, which makes this outcome even sadder. I can understand and sympathize with Angelika’s outcome and sympathize with her family at their loss, my condolences.

  19. Laura 21. November 2009 um 03:12

    As a fellow sufferer of MCS, I can only say that she is now in a better place than one could ever suit her in her home country. Antifungals have been the only thing that have given me any relief, but still, there seems to be no way to really cure this curiously chronic illness.

  20. judith hombravella 23. November 2009 um 07:31

    I have been really sorry to learn.
    I believe we have to let everyone know.
    Best wishes,

  21. Ryozo Tamakoshi 23. November 2009 um 09:10

    I read the report again.
    Although my feelings has been calm a little, I am still depressed
    I thought this could happen in any country.
    Of cource even in Japan where MCS was recognized as a disease.
    In Japan,a husband was accused of aiding the suicide of his wife with chemical sensitivity several years ago. The press has been talking about the incident for a while. However, MCS was not reported correctly.
    Japan has been still covered with a huge Silence.

  22. Horst Mühl 16. June 2010 um 18:12

    Ja , man fährt des Nachts plan und ziellos durch die Stadt. Kommt man an einen Friedhof vorbei, beneidet man die Toten, denn die haben es hinter sich ! Meine Suizidgedanken muss ich für mich behalten, denn die Ärzte die einen nicht Helfen können , manchmal auch nicht wollen, haben die Macht solche Patienten unter Verschluss zu bringen.
    Entsprechende Einrichtungen, für uns mit EU- Geldern erbaut, werden sogar obwohl sie einst Vorzeigeobjekt waren , zweckentfremdet !

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