A two-year-old Parksville boy is recovering in BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after contracting E. coli O157:H7 that his father Aaron Hughes says, almost went undiagnosed.
This strain of E.coli infection can lead to diarrhea and kidney failure.
Jaxon Browns’ parents, Hughes and Jolene Secord are hoping their son’s story will serve as guidance for other parents.
The exact cause of how Jaxon contracted E.coli is unknown, but his parents suspect it came from deer feces, as the animals can carry the O157:H7 strain. Hughes said they have a family of deer living on their property who live off an apple tree in the yard. He said once they’re back home he’s going to take a sample of the animal feces to get tested.
Jaxon, who is also having problems with his pancreas and liver, is currently undergoing dialysis, transfusion and other treatments.
Hughes said Jaxon ate solid foods — a few fries and some banana — for the first time on Tuesday.
“He’s lost a lot of weight, that poor kid. He was a stocky little kid… now he’s turning into a toothpick because that’s the toxins working away at him,” Hughes said.
Hughes said it’s hard to say how Jaxon is feeling because he’s too young to communicate that.
Hughes and Secord urge parents not to get discouraged if their child’s symptoms go undiagnosed. Hughes said people need to remain persistent and always listen to their gut.
Hughes said Jaxon’s symptoms began during a tiki party they were having at their Parksville home last Tuesday. Hughes noticed his son was looking “dopey” and was acting “off.”
“I thought he had sun stroke.”
Later in the evening, Hughes said Jaxon was becoming increasingly lethargic and contracted a fever. Hughes’ wife gave Jaxon Tylenol and put him to bed around 7 p.m.
Hughes said Jaxon had gotten diarrhea and decided to try and give him some oatmeal.
“He had maybe a tablespoon at most and wouldn’t eat anymore,” Hughes said.
During a family walk at Rathtrevor Beach, Jaxon seemed to be doing okay but once they arrived back home his diarrhea began again, this time with traces of blood in it.
“I thought this is serious, let’s get him to the clinic,” Hughes said.
At the clinic, the doctor told Jaxon’s parents he had probably contracted a virus and took a stool sample.
“The doctor said just hydrate him, give him some Tylenol and if it persists take him to emergency or come back tomorrow,” Hughes said.