Dialysis machines are installed to treat children at a Calgary daycare center during an outbreak of E. coli

More and more cases continue to be linked to the outbreak of E. coli in Calgary daycares.

And while some parents have to monitor their children’s hospitalization, other parents are taking steps to seek redress.

On Friday, Alberta Health Services said there were 142 lab-confirmed cases linked to the outbreak and 26 children were stable in hospital – one at the Peter Lougheed Center and the rest at the hospital. Alberta Children’s Hospital – and that five patients were discharged from hospital. As of Thursday, the outbreak included 128 lab-confirmed cases and hospitals had 25 patients.

Calgary Zone Medical Officer of Health Dr. Franco Rizzuti said 11 of those hospitalized patients were suffering from more serious illness than the bloody diarrhea that is part of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection, which includes hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and other complications.

Rizzuti said a “small number” of children needed dialysis, “however, this number is too small for privacy reasons” and dialysis machines were imported from other AHS sites in case they are needed in the next few days.

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One of those children on dialysis is three-year-old Amelia Leonard.

Amelia’s father, Ryan, said it wasn’t until the second day of blood tests that doctors detected kidney dysfunction in Amelia.

“(His kidneys) aren’t doing as much as they’re supposed to,” Ryan told PKBNEWS.

He said his daughter was in good spirits the day before she was admitted to hospital for monitoring. Her dialysis started on Friday and a family member set up a GoFundMe to help cover the costs a*sociated with Amelia’s hospitalization.

Amelia Leonard, one of more than 100 children affected by an outbreak of E. coli in a daycare, sleeps in a bed at Alberta Children’s Hospital.

Courtesy of Ryan Leonard

“It’s really scary to think that at this age children shouldn’t have to go through this. They should have fun and stuff, especially with her birthday next week, Wednesday,” Ryan said.

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Doctors said she could face a month-long hospital stay, but had no predictions on how she would cope with the treatments.

“They say she’s in a good place, but they can’t really say for sure if tomorrow she’s going to be better or if she’s going to start to get worse, because it’s kind of hard to say – that’s what they said to me,” Ryan said.

“All my thoughts are with my child.”

Cla*s action filed: lawyer

As more cases are linked to the outbreak declared earlier this week, parents are asking for redress.

Kate Maxwell, who runs a cleaning business, has a son who attended Fueling Brains Academy at its centenary location. She said she heard about the outbreak while working in Canmore, Alberta, listening to PKBNEWS Radio.

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“I just think of the parents, obviously, and I’m just like, ‘Am I going to find something with Farley? Like, is he getting sick? Will he get sick? And how did it happen when you are responsible for the children?’ she asked.

She said her son has yet to show any symptoms of E. coli infection. Maxwell credits his son’s food preferences for possibly avoiding an infection.

But she has been in touch with other parents about the outbreak.

“People are furious,” Maxwell said. “I just think they feel like they don’t know where to turn and what to do, especially when there’s no real company presence and not a lot of response. And I think everyone’s waiting to see how that plays out.

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“I was talking to another parent yesterday and (their child) has just been admitted (to hospital). So it’s not over. It’s not that there are still people admitted who get sick.

A statement for a possible cla*s action lawsuit was filed in court on Friday morning.

“Katie, our Complaining Representative, she just wants to do her best for all of these families because she has not only experienced, but witnessed firsthand in the hospital room next door, what these children are going through and their parents,” Maia Tomljanovic, a partner at Cumming & Gillespie Lawyers, told PKBNEWS.

“We are all used to the illnesses we expect in daycare or school-aged children. But that’s not what you expect as a parent,” said Tomljanovic, who is also a mother. “And yes, I can’t imagine what they are going through, especially those who are in hospital and have to have their blood drawn daily. It’s really difficult with small children.

Tomljanovic said a number of families had contacted the law firm and the statement of claim named all daycares, the central kitchen and other facilities.

More soon…

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