After a strain of E.coli proved fatal for a three-year-old in Wright County, Minnesota earlier this week, her five-year-old brother remains in critical condition as he battles the same bacteria strain.
The siblings first exhibited symptoms of non-stop vomiting and bloody diarrhea that night, their parents wrote on their CaringBridge page. Several ER trips later, lab tests indicated both kids had suffered acute kidney failure caused by the STEC bacteria.
The toxins from the bacteria damaged Kallen’s kidneys and her neurological system, her family wrote. “Our sweet sweet little girl lost the battle and went to heaven last night,” they wrote on Sunday.
“We were able to give Kallan a bath and put her favorite jammies on her. 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.”
Kade is still at the University of Minnesota children’s hospital in critical condition as he receives treatment for his kidney failure.
“My little Kaderbug is such a tough little guy! He is being so strong and brave and fighting so hard. His labs do not show any signs of improvement yet. We found out tonight his platelet levels continue to drop so he will need to get platelets some time tonight,” they wrote.
A Minnesota health official confirmed to the Star Tribune that “out of an abundance of precaution” the zoo quarantined the animals the siblings came into contact with. The official adds that the zoo is only one of many potential E.coli sources that could have caused the illnesses.
According to the CDC, most E.coli strains are harmless and are actually useful for digestion, but Kallan and Kade suffered from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS typically develops in children after five to 10 days of having diarrhea caused by infection with certain strains of E. coli bacteria, according to Mayo Clinic.
Other than petting zoos, E.coli can be found in contaminated meat or produce, swimming pools or lakes that are contaminated with feces, Star Tribune reports.
Kade’s parents have revealed on their CaringBridge blog that their son continues to receive 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,” his parents wrote.
If you would like to donate to the family, you can visit their GoFundMe page.