Boston-area boy dies from apparent E. coli

A 6-year-old boy has died from hemolytic uremic syndrome in Millbury, Mass., near Boston, and state health officials are investigating the possibility of foodborne illness.

“The symptoms reported may be indicative of a foodborne illness, and is currently under epidemiologic investigation,” according to an e-mail Wednesday evening from Anne Roach, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The Boston Globe reports the death certificate for the boy lists his name as Owen Carrignan. He died around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, according to Derek Brindisi, director of Worcester’s Public Health Department.

“All the signs pointed to E. coli,” said Shawn Carrignan, 37, Owen’s father, late Wednesday night. “Basically, he went over to a friend’s house Saturday night, we don’t know what he ate, but the next day he had a stomachache.”

Carrignan said Owen became continuously worse before he died on Saturday.

A wake for the boy was held in Millbury on Wednesday night, he said.

“He was the best at every sport,” Carrignan said. “You couldn’t slow him down. I’d play with him eight, nine hours and you couldn’t wear him down. He was my youngest. It was always about me and him. He was incredible.”

“The whole family has been devastated,” said Bob Carrignan, 69, Owen’s grandfather, Wednesday night. “It’s heartbreaking. He had everything going. He wasn’t just about sports. He was just a wonderful kid.”