Local News

Child Who Contracted E. coli At Fair's Petting Zoo Last Year Doing Better

Posted October 20, 2005

— Three-year-old Aedin Gray has come a long way since last year, when she was hospitalized after being one of about 100 children who contracted E. coli at the N.C. State Fair's petting zoo.

Her parents were afraid she would not pull through.

"They wanted to start dialysis right away," Kyle Gray, Aedin's father, said. "That made me realize that it was pretty darn serious."

Aedin's medical condition has been complicated by diabetes, he said. She wears an insulin pump and her blood sugar must be checked throughout the day.

"Been a year now, and the last blood drawn showed her kidney function was 40 to 50 percent," Liz Gray, Aedin's mother, said. Aedin may need a kidney transplant some day.

With Aedin on the road to recovery, the Grays got involved in pushing a new state law, called

Aiden's Law

, that may help prevent future outbreaks.

Warning signs are now posted at petting zoos, and hand-washing stations are provided.

But Aedin's parents said the law may not go far enough.

"One idea is to keep those kids under five completely out of the area where they would have direct exposure to the animals," Kyle Gray said.

State fair officials said Thursday that there have been no reported problems at the petting zoo this year.

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