By Reg Chapman

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A Minnesota man is sounding the alarm about an invisible threat. Ted Kueker survived a mistake that could have killed him.

“I think I’m blessed I really do think that,” said Kueker.

Eighty-nine-year-old Ted Kueker is counting his blessings.

“I’ve heard of people having problems with carbon monoxide and it just never occurred to me that it could happen to me,” said Kueker.

This week’s four-inch snowfall near his home in Rochester had him getting ready for winter.

“I still had the lawn vac and the mower on my yard tractor and I was taking those off and I was going to put the snowblower on,” Kueker explained. “And at least part of the time I had the tractor engine running and I had closed the overhead doors already because it was cold.”

Kueker says it did not take long, closed up inside his two and a half stall garage for him to realize something was wrong.

“When I was working on the blower I started to lose my strength,” Kueker said. “I just had no strength or stamina and I thought I was having a heart attack.”

“So the symptoms are pretty vague, they can be anything from a headache, nausea, unsteady gate. People can have loss of consciousness,” explained Dr. Christopher Logue.

Dr. Logue says Kueker’s exposure caused cardiac issues. He was rushed by ambulance to Hennepin Health Care to get immediate care inside its hyperbaric unit.

“Over the last couple of weeks we’ve had to treat five patients with significant carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Dr. Logue.

Because of the recent cold snap, Dr. Louge is asking people to have your furnace checked, don’t run your car or any engine inside a closed garage and make sure your home CO detector has fresh batteries.

“I also recommend people to get supplemental low-level CO detectors that will detect them earlier than the detector in your house,” added Dr. Logue.

“Well I made a stupid mistake,” said Kueker.

A mistake he hopes others learn from and don’t repeat.

Reg Chapman

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