Health

4-Year-Old Girl Dies From E. Coli, Her Friend Battles The Same Bacteria

| by Lisa Fogarty

A 4-year-old Oregon girl has died from complications from the E. coli bacteria and her 5-year-old friend is hospitalized and fighting for his life after their families say they believe they contracted the bacteria after sharing a turkey sandwich at a restaurant over Labor Day weekend, reports ABC News.

Just a few days after Serena Profitt and her family had dinner with Brad Sutton and his parents at a local eatery, the two children reportedly became very ill. On Sunday night, Serena began experiencing stomach pains. The day after, Brad and Serena both suffered from diarrhea. And just two days later, Serena’s stools had turned bloody and she couldn’t eat, according to her family.

The little girl’s parents took her to a hospital, but mom Aleasha Hargitt-Profitt says she was sent home two times over the next few days and no one tested her for E. coli.

After realizing Serena’s body was going into shock, her family took her to a different emergency room, which was when doctors found out she had complete kidney failure. She tested positive for the deadly bacteria and was put on dialysis.

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Serena's condition started to improve. The next day, her family says she was able to speak to them and sat up in bed for the first time since she got sick. But in the blink of an eye, her condition suddenly worsened. That afternoon, she suffered a stroke that paralyzed the right side of her body. Early Monday morning, she had a massive seizure and doctors discovered her brain was “covered in blood,” according to Hargitt-Profitt.

Serena was declared brain dead and her family made the decision to remove her from life support. The official cause of her death was hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a complication of E. coli. A hospital spokesperson says they aren’t sure which strain of E. coli she had and that a state laboratory is testing a sample they sent over.

Serena’s friend, Brad Sutton, has been diagnosed with a strain of E. coli known as 0157. He is at a hospital undergoing dialysis for hemolytic uremic syndrome, reports Fox 8. His mother, Elizabeth Sutton, says his levels were stable when they began dialysis and that they will continue to pray and monitor his progress.

Although it hasn’t been confirmed that the turkey sandwich the children split was to blame for their condition, the Oregon state health department reports that E. coli 0157 can be caused by “high-risk foods such as undercooked meat, unpasteurized milk or juices, restaurants at which [people with E. coli] have eaten, exposure to live animals, recreational water, and exposure to child care centers.”

Sources: ABC News, Fox 8

Photo Credit: ABC News