A five-year-old boy is fighting for his life after contracting a strain of E. coli that also sadly killed his younger sister. Fears the source of bacteria was from a petting zoo.
Kade and Kallan Maresh from Minnesota, illness was believed to be caused by a shiga toxin-producing bacteria on July 9, eventually sending them into acute kidney failure, reports Star Tribune.
State health officials are investigating the source for the E. coli that eventually led to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of the bacterial infection.
On their CaringBridge site, parents Joseph and Tyffani Maresh, said the toxin from the bacteria attacked their 3-year-old daughter’s kidneys and her neurological system. “Her brain and heart were being damaged,” the family said. “Our sweet sweet little girl lost the battle. … Kade is still fighting.” Kallan would have turned 4 next month.
“We were able to give Kallan a bath and put her favorite jammies on her,” her parents wrote in a journal entry on Sunday. “We got to hold her free of tubes and snuggle and kiss her. She is the most amazing little girl in the world. Our hearts are aching with the deepest sadness.”
In an “abundance of precaution,” the animals at a petting zoo the children recently visited were taken off display, she said.
But the children could have been infected with E. coli from any number of other sources that health officials are investigating, she said.
Besides petting zoos, E. coli can be found in contaminated meat or produce, swimming pools or lakes contaminated with faeces.
Health officials may be able to zero in on the source by next week once lab results are in, Scheftel said. So far, no other similar cases have been reported, she said.
The family said their son has had blood transfusions and is on kidney dialysis. “He has a long road to recovery and we hope and pray the toxins stay away from his brain and heart and other organ systems,” the family said.
Although health officials are in the early stages of their investigation, Scheftel said the children’s infection was what’s called an STEC, a group of E. coli that produces a toxin.
The family said on CaringBridge that the two children began suffering from nonstop bloody diarrhea and vomiting a week earlier. After several visits to the emergency room, the two were rushed by ambulance to Children’s Hospital at the University of Minnesota.
A gofundme page has raised more than $61,000 to help the family with medical expenses.
We hope little Kade keeps fighting and makes a full recovery. So heartbreaking for this family.
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