Real Life Stories
Several families who drank contaminated raw milk and experienced severe illness offered to share their stories on video to help raise awareness about the potential risks from raw milk. They describe why raw milk was appealing as a health food, and the unexpected consequences when they unfortunately purchased raw milk that contained dangerous bacteria.
Nicole Riggs developed an E. coli O157:H7 infection in May 2008. She was nine years old at the time. Nicole suffered from symptoms typical of E. coli O157:H7 infections – bloody diarrhea, cramping, and nausea – that quickly intensified and led to her hospitalization on May 8, 2008. Once hospitalized, Nicole developed renal failure, anemia, and thrombocytopenia (low platelet count) indicating that she was developing HUS. She was transferred to a Children’s hospital and started on dialysis in order to save her life. She received dialysis for 18 days. Nicole’s renal function slowly returned to the point that she was deemed healthy enough for discharge on June 1. After discharge, she remained under the care of a nephrologist. In addition, damage suffered during her HUS required that her gall bladder be removed. Medical costs associated with Nicole’s E. coli infection and HUS exceed $180,000. As the result of damage to her kidneys suffered during her bout with HUS, Nicole is at significant risk for severe renal complications in the future.
The Missouri Department of Health final E. coli outbreak report is available here.