Ten days after Shannon Smowton returned home in May from a Jacksonville rehabilitation clinic, she woke up with debilitating pain in her belly, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Shannon had originally been admitted to the hospital and then released to a rehabilitation clinic, after she was sickened at the Florida Strawberry Festival due to an E. coli infection from the petting zoo there.
At least 26 children and 4 adults contracted the bacteria at the same petting zoo. In Shannon’s case, however, the E. coli caused a dangerous condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome, that raises blood pressure and attacks the kidneys. She endured dialysis, and later developed brain abscesses.
She had been released from the rehab center after weeks of working with therapists to regain muscle control, only to find out in May that her gallstones had to be removed. The problem was compounded when days after the surgery she had to return due to bacterial infection.
Six months later, the rehabilitation and trips to doctors to monitor Shannon’s kidneys, heart and brain have finally tapered off, but her parents are unsure whether or not Shannon may need a kidney transplant.
The Smowtons have filed a negligence suit against Agventure Farm Shows, who provided the animals for the petting zoo, and the Florida Strawberry Festival. It remains unresolved.