'I was just weeks from death because of gas leak from faulty boiler', says Nadine
Nadine Coyle has said she was "one of the lucky ones" after revealing that severe carbon monoxide poisoning left her "weeks from death."
The 30-year-old thought she had been struck down with a mystery illness or was suffering from extreme jet lag when she began to forget simple words such as "table" and suffer fatigue and chest pains while recording her album in Los Angeles in 2010.
The diagnosis of carbon monoxide poisoning came entirely by chance when a contractor discovered that a boiler in her rented home had been leaking the odourless gas for four months and Coyle, her mother and friend were forced to flee their home.
"I got very, very lucky that we found out what it was before it got any worse," said the Derry singer.
"There are people whose machines are giving off really high levels of carbon monoxide and they don't make it through the night. I was one of the lucky ones."
Coyle, who has an 18-month-old daughter, Anaiya, now carries a portable carbon monoxide tester everywhere she travels.
She said she had been affect- ed by the deaths of Christi Shepherd (7) and her brother Bobby (6), who were killed by a faulty boiler while on a family holiday to Corfu in 2006.
"It is so tragic, so terrifying, and it could have been prevented if they'd had a portable carbon monoxide detector," she said.
Coyle told of how she discovered she had been poisoned.
"It started with headaches and then I had a constant feeling of nausea," she said.
"I became confused and struggled to string sentences together. I was living with my mum and a friend at the time who also suffered from similar symptoms.
"Despite having regular blood tests, it took four months for heightened levels of carbon monoxide to appear.
"I called an engineer straight away, who investigated and found that our boiler was faulty and emitting the dangerous gas. A few weeks longer and we could all have been dead."
Coyle is now working with Britain's Carbon Monoxide - Be Alarmed! campaign which encourages regular checks of gas appliances and urges every household to get a carbon monoxide alarm.
"I feel guilty for not being educated about keeping your family safe," said Coyle.
"I've had a really bad experience with it, and I would hate for anybody to go through that or worse."