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The Vitale Family: Artist struggles to survive when mold is in the air
Louis Vitale Jr. was born with multiple birth defects. He will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, is fed through a feeding tube and breathes with the help of a ventilator. And he loves to paint. Louis Jr.'s delicate respiratory system is extremely sensitive to mold, often resulting in emergency calls for an ambulance. In the past, Louis Jr. was on some occasions not breathing by the time help arrived. That was before “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” called in the IQAir Clean Air Team. IQAir installed the Perfect 16 in the new Vitale home, giving Louis Jr. medical-grade air in every room of his house. IQAir also placed a GC MultiGas air purifier next to his bed.
Sarah and Lou Vitale have two sons, Kane (3 ½) and Louis Angelo Jr. (2). Life has not been easy for the Vitale family. Louis Jr. was born with multiple birth defects. He will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, is fed through a feeding tube, and breathes with the help of a ventilator. Although he can't move very well, he loves to paint. Seeing her son's art as his bridge to the world – Sarah created a website, Angel Boy Art, to show and sell his paintings.
Louis Jr.'s delicate respiratory system is sensitive to mold, and the unhealthy environment of the family's existing home has resulted in many emergency calls for emergency medical technicians (EMT's) to come to their home. Often when the EMT's arrived – Louis Jr. was not breathing and his respiratory distress was life threatening.
IQAir's Clean Air Team has been called upon many times by Extreme Makeover's Design Team. We've helped them build healthy homes for a young girl with a heart transplant, children with HIV, a mom with lung cancer, stem cell transplants, and many others – but this was the first time we were asked to help an Angel.
"It was a unique call," says Frank Hammes, President of IQAir. "Louis Jr. had critical respiratory problems, and he needed the healthiest environment possible."
IQAir installed the Perfect 16 in the Vitale home. The Perfect 16 gives Louis Jr. medical-grade air in every room of his house. IQAir also placed a GC MultiGas air purifier next to his bed.
"Louis Jr. is very sensitive to chemicals," says Hammes. "The Perfect 16 will keep him safe from particulates. The GC MultiGas will protect him from gases and chemicals."
The Vitale home was the first exclusive "green" home built for Extreme Makeover. This is the show's green season and all homes have green elements – but the Vitale home was dedicated from the ground up to being an entirely green project: a green builder, all green building materials… and a green air purifier.
"IQAir makes the only truly green air purifiers in the world," says Hammes. "We were the first air purifier manufacturer to adopt 100% RHOS compliance for all of our manufacturing. This means that no heavy metals or other toxic substances are used in our manufacturing process. Our Perfect 16 whole-house air cleaner actually lowers a home's HVAC system energy consumption, when compared to other filter systems. But most importantly our air cleaning systems are green because they create the healthiest homes possible. And that is what this deserving family really needed."