e. coli
Two-year-old Jaxon was admitted to B.C. Children's Hospital in Vancouver after been diagnosed with a strain of E. coli. (Aaron Hughes/Facebook)

A Parksville family is hoping for the best after their two-year-old son contracted an E. coli infection, putting him in the B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver over the weekend.

Two-year-old Jaxon was first admitted to the Nanaimo General Hospital last Friday after showing several symptoms, including lethargy, lack of appetite, a fever, and eventually bloody stool, starting on Tuesday.

Hughes and his wife Jolene Secord were initially told over the phone that Jaxon might’ve been suffering from heatstroke, but were then told it could be a bacterial infection when they visited a walk-in clinic.

On Friday, after multiple different diagnoses being sent home twice, Jaxon was admitted to the Nanaimo General Hospital when a stool sample came back positive for E. coli O157:H7.

While many strains of E. coli are harmless to humans, E. Coli O157:H7 may lead to abdominal cramps and diarrhea. In children under the age of five, it can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can destroy red blood cells and cause kidney failure.

The family thinks Jaxon may have contracted the illness by coming in contact with deer feces.

Jaxon was soon transported to the B.C. Children’s Hospital, where he’s been moving in and out of intensive care since.

Hughes told Victoria Buzz that nothing is for certain when it comes to Jaxon’s treatment right now. Staff are currently doing tests, and think Jaxon may have a stomach infection, and he’s also on dialysis after his kidneys stopped functioning.

“It’s a pretty serious thing,” Hughes says. “He’s been going through a lot.”

A GoFundMe page has been started in support of the family, as Hughes is currently unable to work while he’s in Vancouver. At time of writing, it was about $500 short of its $3,000 goal.

“It’s great to see that support,” Hughes says. “I didn’t expect it … all I asked for were prayers.”

Hughes says the GoFundMe has become an opportunity for others to share stories about their diagnoses and treatments—a positive development in an otherwise tough situation—and hopes Jaxon’s case can be an example of why parents should be assertive and advocate for their child’s care, even if doctors say there may not be anything wrong.

“The more people who share stories, the more it gets out there,” Hughes says.

For now, the family is staying put in Vancouver and hoping the future holds more good news than bad.

“We’re all going through it right now,” Hughes says. “It’s a rollercoaster.”