OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Their house isn't a home.
In fact, homeowner Aimee Patton says the condo she shares with her 11-year-old daughter, Amelia, is making the two of them very sick. The Pattons say it's a mold outbreak at the vacant condominium next door that's caused their illnesses.
You can't stay inside their condo, which sits near Nall Avenue, for long. Patton proved that with the documented results of a mold test on her home. Those two severe summertime storms that drenched parts of Johnson County, which happened in July and August, brought on flooding in her condo complex. Patton and her daughter became ill many times during a four-month period. They believe it's mold from that unoccupied apartment that caused it.
Patton, who works at a university in the Kansas City metro, says her family has had to leave the home twice this year, including once after her hired contractors removed mold left by those floodwaters. It was in August, according to Patton, while moving out for the second time, a contractor working on the condo next door let her inside.
"I said, 'We're experiencing mold issues. He said, 'I'll bet you are. Come on in,'" Patton said on Wednesday morning.
The photos she snapped showed moldy patches everywhere. That condo is owned by James B. Nutter and Company, which acquired the unit through a foreclosure. Patton says she and her daughter, who has asthma, made at least 10 medical visits in a four-month period.
"The day after we moved back in, my daughter started complaining of severe headaches. She had never gotten a headache in her life," Patton told FOX 4 News.
The Pattons haven't been able to stay at their condo for months. Instead, they're staying with family members in the area.
"Every time they would come back, they would get sick with sore throats and headaches and sinus infections and it was all related to the mold," Anita Mooney, Patton's mother, said.
FOX 4 News spoke with Al Pitzinger, a compliance officer with the Nutter Company. Pitzinger says his employer didn't realize at first how serious the mold problem was, and they've had contractors working on it all week.
"We care very much about how this affects Aimee and her family," Pitzinger said on Wednesday afternoon.
"I don't know how to verbalize what I want at this point because it's so overwhelming," Patton lamented.
All told, Patton says she's spent a minimum of $15,000 on doctor bills, legal fees and mold removal. That's not to mention a mortgage payment for a home she can't use. Young Management operates the condo community where the Pattons have lived for two years. FOX 4 News' call to their Overland Park office on Wednesday was not returned.
Pitzner says he'll visit the condo beside Patton's on Thursday to make certain the mold removal is complete and up to code.