Camp and cheeseburgers shouldn't kill - mother and son describe effects of E. coli O157 illness linked to Rhode Island camp; 'I want it to be Ponderosa night again'
Posted: November 4th, 2009 - 6:38am by Doug Powell
Stephen Smith of the Boston Globe writes this morning,
The signs of trouble arrived deep in the night: first, bloody diarrhea, then nausea
Austin Richmond nor his mother knew it at the time, but he had been infected with a potentially lethal germ known as E. coli O157:H7. And, according to a lawsuit filed yesterday, the 11-year-old from Lincoln, R.I., caught it doing what many children do when they are away at camp, by eating a cheeseburger.
There were trips to the emergency room, trips to the doctor’s office, and initial confusion over what was causing him to be so sick. For more than two weeks, Austin, a sixth-grader, has been banished from school and not just because of his own illness. There is also concern that, because his immune system has been so ravaged battling the E. coli infection, he might prove especially susceptible to swine flu, which killed another student at Lincoln Middle School over the weekend.
Austin’s mother, Jaimee Richmond, said,
“He just wants to go back to being him. He wants to be able to play soccer. He wants to go to Boy Scouts. He wants to go back to church, which are words I never thought I would hear coming out of his mouth. … “I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m confused, I’m overwhelmed. I just want to go back to normal life. Tuesday night, it used to be Ponderosa night because it’s cheap, it’s family, the kids loved it. I just want it to be Ponderosa night again.’’