Powell mother blames son's daycare for viral meningitis

Powell mother blames son's daycare after coming down with viral meningitis

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Even though her son didn't get sick, Kellee Evans came down with viral meningitis contracted at her son's daycare. Even though her son didn't get sick, Kellee Evans came down with viral meningitis contracted at her son's daycare.
The daycare, Mudpies & Music, temporarily closed Monday for deep cleaning. The daycare, Mudpies & Music, temporarily closed Monday for deep cleaning.
"They should have come in and had somebody do a deep cleaning that night," said Kellee Evans.  "I don't want this to happen to anybody, especially a child." "They should have come in and had somebody do a deep cleaning that night," said Kellee Evans. "I don't want this to happen to anybody, especially a child."

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

POWELL (WATE) - A Knox County daycare remains temporarily closed following two confirmed cases of viral meningitis.

Officials with Mudpies & Music on Clinton Highway in Powell say they are deep cleaning for the rest of the week to make sure no one else gets sick.

The Knox County Health Department is investigating a total of five other potential cases of viral meningitis from just the past few days.

One of the people who got sick is the mother of a child who goes to the daycare.

She wishes Mudpies had shut down for cleaning a lot sooner, so that she and others wouldn't have fallen ill.

It all started last week when Kellee Evans dropped her two-year-old son Graham off at Mudpies, the daycare she's used for the last year.

She then received a letter from daycare officials letting parents know two people had come down with viral meningitis.

"Of course I was alarmed, but I had to leave him there at daycare because I was on my way to work and couldn't be late for work," said Evans.

She says there was nothing in the letter about other cases, or urging parents to keep their kids home.

So, she thought Graham was in the clear and didn't even realize she was at risk for getting sick herself until a few days later.

"I had the worst headache I've ever had in my life. It was so bad, I had trouble driving home. It was that night I went to the hospital and I tested positive for meningitis," said Evans.

She was in the hospital for five days in what she describes as excruciating pain.

"With each step, it really feels like there are knives shooting through your spine and your neck. Your neck feels swollen. I was literally holding onto my head because it felt like it was going to explode," said Evans.

Lying in her hospital bed, she got a call from Mudpies.

"Two days after I was admitted to the hospital, she said there had been four other cases over the weekend. But then it was still Monday at 2:30 in the afternoon before they decided to close the daycare center," said Evans.

Evans was released from the hospital two days ago in extreme pain which her doctors say could last for months.

She can't understand why the daycare didn't close sooner. She believes if they had, perhaps after the first case popped up, she and others wouldn't have gotten sick.

"They should have come in and had somebody do a deep cleaning that night," said Evans.  "I don't want this to happen to anybody, especially a child."

Mudpies will remain closed through the end of the week.

Evans says she's not sure if she'll be taking Graham back there once it reopens.

She says it costs $165 per week for him to attend daycare there and requested a refund for this week, while Mudpies is closed for cleaning.

She says daycare officials denied her request.

The owner of the daycare issued the following statement to 6 News.

"Mudpies and Music has always provided full disclosure of any health issue to our families as early as possible. This case is no exception. We have communicated all facts in a timely manner to all families. We are confident in all decisions and actions regarding our closing for this week and in the time frame in which we did so. Mudpies will reopen Monday as usual."

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