Health

10-Year-Old Boy Falls Severely Ill After Termite Fumigation At His Home

| by Kathryn Schroeder

A 10-year-old boy had to be hospitalized and may be suffering from brain damage after returning to his recently fumigated Palm City, Florida, home.

Peyton McCaughey and his family had their home treated for termites on August 14 by a Terminix subcontractor, Sunland Pest Control. They were told it was safe to return to the home on Aug 16, family attorney Bill Williams said.

The family immediately began feeling ill upon returning to their home, CNN reports.

Ed Gribben, Peyton’s uncle, said the entire family was vomiting but the boy’s condition was even worse as he had trouble standing and speaking.

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Peyton was taken to a local clinic and the doctor said he suspected poisoning from fumigation.

Peyton’s parents, Lori and Carl, recovered, as did their 7-year-old daughter.

But Peyton got worse and after spending more than two weeks in three different children’s hospitals, he can barely speak, Williams said.

Peyton has lost 90% of his motor skills and cannot use his left arm and leg. He has been released from ICU, but will remain hospitalized for an unspecified amount of time.

He has “uncontrollable twitching and flopping” and is “unable to feed himself,” the GoFundMe page set up to help his family states.

"He has traumatic brain injury and loss of motor skills," Williams said. "The rest of the family is fine, thank God. The little boy is not fine."

“He’s got his personality; he will still smile and still laugh, but he can’t get the words out that he wants to say and can’t move the way he wants to move, and frustration sets in,” Gribben said.

According to a recent MRI, Peyton may have brain damage.

The family claims Sunland Pest Control will not respond to their questions and concerns about the fumigation.

Gas fumigant sulfuryl fluoride was reportedly the pesticide used in the fumigation.

“There's no antidote and no specific treatment,” Dr. Shan Yin, the medical director of the Cincinnati Drug and Poison Control, said regarding sulfuryl fluoride poisoning. She noted that it can lead to seizures and neurological problems. 

A Department of Justice criminal investigation has been launched, The Daily Mail reports. 

Sunland Pest Control is not allowed to perform any fumigations at this time.

“While our investigation is ongoing, we are issuing a Stop Work Order prohibiting (Sunland Pest Control) from conducting any fumigations at this time," the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a statement.

Terminix released the following statement about Peyton: “We are saddened to learn of this and our hearts are with the family. We are carefully reviewing the matter.”

Sources: The Daily Mail, CNN, GoFundMe / Photo Source: GoFundMe