Caseyville, MO- By Cordell Whitlock, KSDK – Mary Gooden says for years she has watched news reports about the dangers of carbon monoxide. She never imagined the colorless, odorless gas would nearly kill her.

When Gooden left her Caseyville home for 10 days to housesit for a friend she left the air conditioning on-a fact all to apparent upon her return. “I turned on the heat to knock the chill out of the house.”

Later that night Gooden received a phone call. “My daughter called me from L.A. She said, ‘Mom you don’t sound right.’ She said I was slurring my words. I didn’t realize that.”

Mary also didn’t realize she was suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. A faulty furnace was polluting her home with fumes that knocked her out. “It was dark when I went out and when I came to it was daylight.”

At first, Gooden was too weak to answer the phone that morning. “The third time it rang I got the person on the other line.” Jan Atnip was that person. “She wasn’t talking right and I said, ‘Mary what’s wrong?’ And she was breathing funny and couldn’t answer me.”

Jan called 911. Firefighters detected dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in Mary’s home as she was on her way to Belleville Memorial Hospital.

Mary Gooden has been at Belleville Memorial Hospial since Thursday and will go home later this week. She is getting a new furnace installed, and for the first time her home will have a carbon monoxide detector. The main causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are appliances with a gas flame.