Mariska and Willow were active and healthy kids with no medical history. Their parents thought it was a terrible case of the flu. Originally their pediatrician thought it was the norovirus. But after days of worsening symptoms, they were admitted to Valley Children's Hospital with E. coli.
13-year-old Mariska Niles is finally starting to improve after 16 days in the hospital. She's had more blood transfusions than she can count along with excruciating stomach pain and she was hallucinating.
The sisters were diagnosed with E. coli HUS or typical hemolytic uremic syndrome but the girls had unique cases.
Dr. Molly Dorfman said, "There's was pretty atypical. Particularly the severity of Willow's case was very very severe."
This form of bacteria usually originates from contaminated food or water products. Pinpointing the exact source has been difficult. They haven't traveled anywhere recently. The family hadn't eaten out lately. It's likely other family members also ate what the girls did but did not become violently ill. Even more puzzling, Mariska and Willow rarely eat the same things.
"Which is why we can't figure out what it would have been. Mariska and willow have very different tastes in food, there aren't a lot of foods that they like in common so it narrows things down quite a bit more."
Willow's kidney's still are not working. She has been debilitated by toxins from the infection, and at one point couldn't wake up. Both sisters have had blood transfusion and dialysis.
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