FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A Fresno woman who is suffering from lead poisoning is concerned that her drinking water may have been to blame. The woman lived in the Woodward Park area for several years which is part of Northeast Fresno, where home plumbing has prematurely corroded releasing metals into the water in some homes.
Carolyn Frantzen just turned 60-years-old, and in recent years she has suffered from a disorder known as Ataxia. The symptoms include slurred speech and difficulty walking. There are a number of possible causes, including heavy metal poisoning, which after years of uncertainty her doctor diagnosed.
"When did they finally figure out it was lead," we asked.
"April of 2014," answered Frantzen.
We asked, "So prior to that nobody ever tested you for lead?"
"No," Frantzen answered.
"So, how does that make you feel now?"
After seeing the reports of lead contamination in the water of some homes in Northeast Fresno, Carolyn had her water tested. It was okay, but she thinks she could have ingested lead while living in the Woodward Lakes area years earlier. But, while some homes there have had problems with corroded pipes the water in her former home has not been tested. She's basing her concern on a lead test done by her doctor which showed lead in her urine of 12 micrograms. The chart he gave her shows that to be at a high level and she is being treated.
"I'm undergoing chelation treatment, but the damage that has been done is not reversible," said Frantzen.
And she has been told the damage will get worse, even with the treatment. While she can't be certain her condition was caused by the water, she came forward because she wants everyone to know about the debilitating dangers of lead poisoning.
The type of test that was used to determine her lead level is not universally accepted as accurate. We have reached out to Frantzen's doctor-- he was busy with patients.
We want to point out Frantzen came forward because she was told by her doctor that she has lead poisoning. With the controversy underway about Fresno's water, she want's others to know just how awful and debilitating it can be.