Tragic: Brittany Scadlock dies from pathogenic E. coli infection

Pathogenic E. coli is a horrible bacteria. Between O157 and non-O157 there are an estimated 175,000 illnesses, 2,400 hospitalizations and 20 deaths annually in the U.S.. But those just statistics. Behind each case is a real person. Like Sister Brittany Scadlock who tragically passed away in Brazil from an E. coli infection, according to Herald Extra.

Sister Brittany Scadlock, a 19-year-old missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died Wednesday at a hospital in Sao Paulo, Brazil from an E. coli infection.550210f8bb2eb.preview-620

The West Haven resident was serving a mission in Argentina and had been transferred from her mission to the Sao Paulo hospital where she died.
Scadlock was a graduate of Roy High School and, according to media reports, was just 10 days shy of her 20th birthday.

According to family members, they just recently learned she was having medical issues. It was originally thought she was having problems with appendicitis. Unable to fight off the E. coli in her intestinal system, she went into cardiac arrest.

The family is seeking help in funding the transport of Scadlock’s body back to the United States and funeral arrangements 

Too many tragedies from foodborne pathogens

Stories in food safety matter. Folks aren’t compelled by the fancy facts and figures that all of us nerds have access to. It’s too easy to forget that food safety is about people that get sick. When I get bogged down by the churn of the academic system and all the rhetoric around policy, stories like that of Serena Faith Profitt clarify things for me.1410363185283_wps_18_Serena_Faith_Proffit_7_pn

Serena, a 4-year-old Oregonian died from pathogenic E. coli last week; according to News Times, her family is preparing for her memorial.

A week after the nearly unbearable death of her granddaughter, Laurie Whitaker wiped at an eye and laughed while recalling the tow-headed 4-year-old who called her “Nana.”

“She was very, very smart,” reflected Whitaker, swept into an unsolved mystery that resulted in the death of Serena Faith Profitt from E. coli poisoning. “She knew her alphabet at two-and-a-half, and could count to 50 by the time she was four. She had an ear for music — not kids’ nursery rhymes, but real music. And she loved twirly dresses and sparkly shoes, which is all she ever wore.”

On Monday, Whitaker buried her own grief and hit the bricks to organize a funeral service for Serena that is likely to stretch the resources of the tight-knit clan over which she dotes

Stuff like this makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. It makes me think about my kids; the kids in my family; and, all the folks I know with youngsters.

And reminds me of why I do what I do.