Little girl recovering from E. coli

Little girl recovering from E. coli after parents say she drank raw milk

Posted:
Madison's parents say this experience has been sobering and thankfully their little girl is recovering quicker than doctors expected. Madison's parents say this experience has been sobering and thankfully their little girl is recovering quicker than doctors expected.
The infection got bad enough that it put the 5-year-old in kidney failure. The infection got bad enough that it put the 5-year-old in kidney failure.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Knox County girl is still in the hospital after an E. coli outbreak connected with raw milk. The Knox County Health Department says 9 children were affected.

It's been just over two weeks since authorities descended on McBee Dairy Farm in North Knox County.

Tests on the milk came back negative for E. coli. The Knox County Health Department has since lifted the order, telling people not to drink milk from the farm.

The Powell family initially thought their 5-year-old daughter came down with a virus. Now that they know how dangerous E. coli can be, the family says they're switching to lightly pasteurized milk.

Madison Powell is a playful little girl, but that was not the case for this 5-year-old nearly three weeks ago. Doctors at Children's Hospital diagnosed her girl with an E. coli infection, more specifically Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, or HUS.

"It was just really scary because we were watching her get worse and worse. I have pictures and looking back now she was dying," said her mother Cassie Powell.

Madison's parents believe she got sick because of raw milk the family had been drinking from McBee Dairy Farm for more than a year.

"We knew that there were e-coli risks we just didn't know it was like this," added Powell.

The infection got bad enough that it put the 5-year-old into kidney failure.

"She's received dialysis for 18 days, she's received six blood transfusions, she's received platelets, and she's had two surgeries," said her mom.

E. coli tests on the farm's milk came back negative from the Knox County Health Department. The Powells say they're not upset and don't blame McBee Dairy Farm.

"It's not anything that they did, it just happened. But going forward it's not a risk I'm going to take anymore," Powell said.

Madison's parents say this experience has been sobering and thankfully their little girl is recovering quicker than doctors expected.

"She's becoming our Madison again. She's wanting to get up and go play and she's ready to go home," said Powell.

We checked with McBee Dairy Farm and the owner, Marcie McBee, says they're continuing to do daily tests on their milk.

In the state of Tennessee, you can legally drink raw milk if you own the cow. McBee Dairy Farm is a privately owned cow-sharing operation.

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