It was supposed to be a fun family outing but because of an unforeseen twist, a Minessota family has been left devastated with one child dead, and another fighting for his life.
Siblings Kade (3) and Kallan (5) Maresh were at a petting zoo with their parents, having fun with the farm animals there.
But not too long after the outing, both siblings became very ill with non-stop bloody diarrhea and vomiting, according to their parents in a crowdfunding page.
They they were diagnosed to have been infected by a strain of E.coli. Both reportedly went into acute kidney failure with the infection resulting in a complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
Heartbreakingly, little Kade did not pull through. Her brother is currently critically ill. While the exact cause of the infection is yet to be understood, it is believed that the siblings may have contracted it via the animals at the petting zoo.
“It is absolutely heart breaking watching your babies in so much pain and being so helpless,” say the children’s family on the crowdfunding page.
Life support switched off
The kids’ parents share that little Kallan’s kidneys and neurological system were heavily damaged by toxins from the bacteria. She had to be put on a life support system, which, tragically, they had to switch off when they understood she would not pull through.
“We were able to give Kallan a bath and put her favorite jammies [sic] on her,” they wrote.
“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.”
“Our sweet, sweet little girl lost the battle. … Kade is still fighting.”
Kade battles on…
While the little boy’s bloodwork is yet to show an improvement, the family remains hopeful that he will win the fight against the infection.
He has had blood transfusions and is on 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. He got a special visit from some of his closest friends and family today and it was so fun to see him smile and be so talkative,” his parent wrote. “We have not got to see that in a long time.”
According to a report from The Star Tribune, the animals at the petting zoo are no longer on display, in an “abundance of precaution”.
Follow hygiene procedures should you take your child to a petting zoo
Safety precautions at petting zoos
While it quite rare that your child can contract HUS, as parents, it’s always good to be vigilant about safety and hygiene.
Here are some tips adapted from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep in mind:
- Everyone should wash their hands immediately after petting an animal or touching anything where the animal is sheltered.
- Hand-washing should happen when you leave animal areas, whether the animal was touched or not.
- If running water and soap are not available, use hand sanitiser (remember to pack it) and wash your hands with running water and soap the moment they become available.
- Kids under the age of 5 should always be under adult supervision in animal areas.
- Watch your children closely to make sure they do not put their fingers, thumbs or objects in their mouths while in animal areas or near an animal.
- Toys, food, strollers, bottles, cups, lunchboxes and pacifiers should not be taken into animal areas.
- When you get home, disinfect the bottoms of shoes, as you or the kids may have inadvertently stepped on animal faeces or urine.
We are theAsianparent extend our deepest sympathies to the Maresh family and are keeping little Kade in our thoughts and prayers.
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore
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