Toddler suffers kidney failure after eating seagull droppings while out playing in the garden
A TODDLER has suffered kidney failure which docs said was due to eating seagull droppings while playing in the garden.
Jaydon Pritchard, of Amlwch in Anglesey, Wales, spent 19 days hooked up to a dialysis machine and although is now home, he is "still not out of the woods”.
The youngster was diagnosed with an E. coli infection, which can cause severe stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
Humans can pick up the bug from food or water that is contimated with it.
But Jaydon’s grandfather, Arwel Pritchard, told North Wales Live: "The doctors diagnosed him with kidney failure and told us that he had E. coli poisoning from having ingested the seagull faeces.”
Jaydon’s ordeal started on Tuesday, April 6, when he was taken to the doctor after being unwell for two days.
He was suspected to have a virus by doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd and sent home to recover, where he lives with grandparents Arwel and Christine and mum Tiffany.
But Arwel said the next day he "didn't do anything apart from sleep and be sick".
Later in the evening the family heard a "horrible noise coming from his cot" and were shocked to discover he was having a fit.
They immediately called for the ambulance, but Jaydon suffered another four fits before he arrived at hospital.
Arwel said: “It was like he was looking through you. He didn't recognise anyone.
"There was a point where we really thought we were going to lose him. It was horrific."
What is E. coli and what are the symptoms of infection?
Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria common in human and animal intestines.
While most types of E.coli are harmless some can cause serious food poisoning and infection.
E.coli bacteria is a common cause of cystitis – an infection of the bladder.
Some types of E.coli can cause gastrointestinal infections.
As the bacteria can survive outside of the body, its levels serve as a measure of general hygiene and faecal contamination of an environment.
A common mode of infection is by eating food that is contaminated with the bacteria.
- Diarrhea, which may range from mild and watery to severe and bloody
- Stomach cramping, pain or tenderness
- Nausea and vomiting, in some people
After being rushed to Ysbyty Gwynedd, a team from Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool were sent to pick up Jaydon within a few hours.
In most cases, people recover from E. coli within a week.
But some E. coli strains produce toxins (Shiga toxins) that can cause severe illness, which is extremely rare in England and Wales.
Sometimes these severe cases of E. coli can lead to a life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The bacteria lodges in the digestive tract and produces toxins that enter the blood.
These toxins destroy red blood cells and block the kidneys filtering system, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Last summer, Public Health England said it was investigating a spike in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections focused in the Midlands.
It said it could be due to warmer weather.
Jaydon was hooked up to a dialysis machine which filters waste and fluid from the body when the kidneys are not working. He also received three blood transfusions during his stay.
Arwel said: "We were fearing the worst at the time, seeing his little body hooked up to the dialysis machine and his face turned yellow."
The ordeal has been "traumatising" for the family.
But Jaydon is doing "much better now than what he was a couple of weeks ago".
His grandmother said she was "apprehensive" over leaving him in the garden again, where he is suspected to have first eaten the seagull faeces.
She said: "I clean the patio every day, but it's difficult because the seagulls are nesting nearby and it's a constant mess to clean up.
"Poor Jaydon is on all sorts of medications now, we just hope that he's not suffered any permanent issues. He's still not himself, he's still quite grey, but he's getting there slowly.”
The grandparents issued a warning to others to “make sure that their children are playing in a safe environment, particularly when they're outside”.
Jaydon faces a series of visits to Ysbyty Gwynedd over the coming weeks before he is taken to Alder Hey again for another check-up.
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