Marti Davis of the Knoxville News Sentinel spoke with the McDonald family, whose two children became ill with E. coli infections last fall after eating Cargill ground beef patties.

Preschoolers John and Michaela McDonald shared a burger that led to a prolonged stay in intensive care and cost 4-year-old John part of his bowel and colon. The frozen hamburgers at Sam’s Club near their West Knoxville home a few days before the patties were recalled.

Surgery to bypass John’s digestive tract was reversed in December, and both children are well for now.

Only Jim McDonald, the children’s father, has eaten ground beef since his children’s illness. The rest of the family has not reintroduced ground beef into their diet.

The McDonald family, who is represented by Marler Clark, filed a lawsuit against Cargill last year, but has withdrawn the lawsuit in the hopes that Cargill will compensate the children for injuries they sustained through mediation instead of a jury trial.