Littlest Listeria Victim Heads Home For Holidays - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Littlest Listeria Victim Heads Home For Holidays

Photo courtesy MSNBC.Com Photo courtesy MSNBC.Com

MSNBC.COM - Three months after she was born, Kendall Paciorek is finally home, just in time for Christmas.

The premature girl from Fishers, Ind., is one of the tiniest victims of last summer's deadly listeria outbreak in cantaloupe, which sickened 146 people, including 30 who died.

Kendall spent the first several weeks of her life in an incubator, fighting off an infection contracted when her mother ate tainted melon traced to Jensen Farms of Holly, Colo.

She's strong enough now to sleep in her own crib in the house where big sister Madison, 4, loves to color pictures of Santa.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the outbreak over this month, and the rest of the world seems poised to move on.

But for Kendall and her family, the impact of the foodborne illness caused by a summer snack is just beginning.

"Right now they don't know what's going to happen to her in the long term," said Michelle Wakley-Paciorek, Kendall's 41-year-old mother. "We were told she could have mental and or physical delays."

Kendall was one of three newborns diagnosed with listeria infections in the outbreak that largely affected the elderly, according to the CDC. Four pregnant women became ill; one had a miscarriage.

For now, there's no sign of serious trouble, other than the feeding tube that runs into Kendall's stomach because the baby has had difficulty eating. click here to read more

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