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After feeling ill for months, a Navy family asks: Was it the water?

A family on base said they are reaching their breaking point after long suspecting something in their home was making them sick.
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 7:34 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 3, 2021 at 8:19 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Inside her home at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Navy mom Jamie Simic gets bottled water, warms it on the stove and then washes her 7-year-old’s hair.

They cannot use the tap water because the smelly oily water sometimes has a yellow color and it’s most noticeable in ice cubes.

Simic’s daughter, Gemma, knows not to drink it.

“It makes me feel sad for my friends,” she said.

A HNN crew spent more than hour in Simic’s home and felt the oily and gritty water while smelling a strange fuel odor. It also left our crew with headaches.

“To see someone else feel it, see it, know it, now what goes through my head is ‘How long have I been poisoning myself and my kids?’” said Simic in tears.

For Simic, the affirmation that tainted water with odors of fuel is making her and her two children sick is emotionally overwhelming. She also vomited several times from the fumes that filled her home while HNN was there.

“The military says it’s not happening. My husband, he knows how sick I am, and I’ve been telling doctors since January my esophagus is burning,” she said.

She says their dog, Koa, was just diagnosed with petroleum poisoning, and the symptoms for all of her family have been going on for months.

“I don’t like it and and it makes me feel very uncomfortable because I’ve been showering with oil,” said Simic’s son, 9-year-old Milo.

Navy leaders Thursday night said the directly impacted water may not be usable for days because more flushing and testing is needed.

“For those other areas, the timeline is probably four days to 10 days,” said Rear Admiral Blake Converse, Deputy Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

For the Simic’s, it’s a bitter pill to swallow.

Late in the day, she learned she qualified for temporary lodging assistance.

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