First Coast News in Jacksonville reports that Shannon Smowton of Winter Haven, Florida, is slowly recovering at the Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital in Jacksonville. She was released earlier from the hospital where she, along with 30 other people, were diagnosed as having suffered from the recent E. coli outbreaks in Central Florida.
“I was encouraging them to touch the animals, you know? Telling them to pet the cow and so on,” said Kathie Smowton, talking about how her two young daughters played at the petting zoo, where Shannon contracted E.coli.
Shannon was hospitalized when her fever and severe bloody diarrhea didn’t stop after three days.
“From Friday at the petting farm to the following Saturday, (Shannon was)literally comatose on a vent(ilator) and dialysis. That’s how quickly it went,” said Smowton.
Shannon eventually regained consciousness, but weeks of lying in a hospital bed left her muscles weak, and her joints stiff as boards, which is why she was admitted to the Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital. The therapist works with her, reaching into a plastic bucket to pick up bean-bags to toss across the room.
Physical Therapist Kristine Carter says that Shannon has made dramatic progress from the day she arrived at Brooks about ten days earlier, but that it will be weeks before she’ll be well enough to go home.