Kayla Dunham said, “It is a parent’s worst nightmare”, after losing her 2-year-old son, Grayson Dunham.
Just a week before, he awoke feeling odd, and later passed. It was discovered to be an E. coli infection resulting in hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), that proved fatal.
Living in Sheridan, Indiana, Kayla took it upon herself to spread her story and create awareness so no other parent has to go through what they did.
Little Grayson had never been sick, and sudden deaths like this are usually associated with cancer or accidents, never E. coli, Kayla lamented.
A month before his death, they were all out at a fair visiting petting zoos and out of nowhere, little Grayson started to vomit and had diarrhea.
At first, doctors could not find the exact reason behind it so they diagnosed it as a stomach flu, followed by suppositions that his intestines may have folded over each other a bit which caused his appendix issues. With time, Grayson’s condition only worsened and he suffered from intolerable abdominal pain and diarrhea with blood.1
It was only after that, the doctors confirmed that he had HUS because of an E. coli infection in his digestive system. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases said that HUS can damage blood cells, clog the kidney;s ability to remove bad bacteria from the body and is one the most common cause of kidney failure in children.
Grayson was put into the ICU in a children’s hospital in Indiana. The doctors had stabilized him but that very night, his parents who were asleep in the other room were jolted awake to hear that his body was not supplying him needed amount of oxygen, which led to Grayson’s death.
Although they tried to revive him with CPR for over 45 minutes, nothing worked.
The main sources of E. coli are from improperly cooked meat, fruits and vegetables that have not been washed properly, spoiled juice, and even animals in close contact.
But in Grayson’s case?
They could only think of possible sources of the E. coli, from the restaurant food to the super market produce or even some animal he may have pet at the zoo, with no real confirmation.
Kayla urges families to know that E. coli, can threaten your life, and even if a child recovers, they could suffer from long-term health issues because of it.
However, only around 10% die of HUS, which probably makes Grayson’s parents feel even worse.
So, as a cautionary real-life incident, here are some symptoms of E. coli: -Fever
Every parent needs to be vigilant and run to a doctor immediately.
Make sure you ask the doctors lots of questions, do your homework and make sure you help narrow down the possible cause for the doctor, so they know what to look for or test for, such as asking them to take a tool sample.
Kayla is now even more cautious, such as washing hands regularly and signing up to the FDA to make alerts regarding food and safety for the public.
In loving memory of their son, Grayson, they also set up a fund at the Riley Children’s Hospital and are now welcoming a baby girl who will be named after her late-older brother as Graysie.
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