Bonners Ferry, ID- By Rachelle Treiber, Quad City Times

It was nearly a year ago that Dr. Kevin P. “Kip” Wilson was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning while at his father’s home in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

Now friends and co-workers of the Bettendorf doctor are honoring his memory while helping other Quad-City families protect themselves from the silent killer, which also took the life of Wilson’s father, Peter B. Wilson.

In a presentation Tuesday night at the Genesis Heart Institute in Davenport, medical staff presented $5,000 each to the Davenport and Bettendorf fire departments, for the purchase of carbon monoxide detectors that will be distributed within the community.

Wilson, who was 49 when he died, was an anesthesiologist and medical director for the Genesis Pain Management Center in Bettendorf.

Genesis officials, who have called him “a compassionate and caring professional whose personality endeared him to patients and staff because he took time out to really get to know them,” said it was the idea of fellow medical staff members to set up a fund in Wilson’s name.

“Dr. Wilson was very kind and had a great deal of respect and compassion for every patient,” said Maggie Dubin, nurse manager of the center. “I am happy that we can honor his memory by helping others.”

Ken Croken, vice president of communications for Genesis Health System, said half of the funds were collected by the Genesis medical staff, and the other half was donated by the health system.

Wilson’s family said they are “very touched” by the donation and hope it helps others avoid this tragedy.

Bettendorf Fire Chief Gerry Voelliger, who attended the presentation along with Davenport Fire Chief Mark Frese, said he is not yet sure how many or to whom the detectors will be given.

But, having had a personal experience where a detector went off and likely saved the lives of his children, Voelliger said he knows the importance of them first-hand.

“You need them, and you need a good one. And that is the nice thing about this gift, we have the latitude to pick a good, quality detector,” he said.

During the check presentation, a friend and fellow doctor at Anesthesia and Analgesia P.C., said he hoped the donation would keep others from suffering this type of loss.

“If this can in anyway help people avoid this tragedy, then I think it’s great,” Dr. Fritz Swearingen said.

CO info

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, Carbon monoxide or CO, is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death.

It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels — gas, oil, coal and woodused in cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges and heating systems. Carbon monoxide from these sources can build up in enclosed or even semi-enclosed spaces.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

High levels of the gas can cause loss of consciousness and death.

Unless suspected, carbon monoxide poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are similar to the flu.

Those who are sleeping can die from the poisoning without experiencing any symptoms.