Mom speaks out after sudden death of toddler son

An Indiana family is sharing the heart-breaking story of their 2-year-old boy's death as a warning of the dangers of E. coli infection.

Kayla and Brent Dunham's son Grayson came down with vomiting and diarrhea on Aug. 10. He was hospitalized for dehydration and kept getting sicker.

Five days later, Grayson died.

"My heart is in shock I’m numb," Kayla Dunham wrote in a blog post she shared on Facebook. "My heart and body are empty right now. Brent and I are grieving in different ways and we will never get over this and never know why God did this to us."


Grayson had hemolytic uremic syndrome, HUS, an illness that destroys red blood cells and can shut down the kidneys. It's not usually fatal, according to the Mayo Clinic's website.

“We were misdiagnosed five times before they said, yes this is HUS,” Dunham in a story published Tuesday.

HUS is a complication caused after an E. Coli infection.

Dunham, who lives in rural Clinton County, hopes Grayson's story can serve as a warning to other parents about the danger of the food-borne bacteria.

"Grayson was misdiagnosed multiple times," Dunham wrote on Facebook. "This is a common occurrence as E.coli is easily mistaken for other conditions with similar symptoms."

The family doesn't know where Grayson picked up the bacteria. Before Grayson got sick, Dunham said the family had been to the Indiana State Fair, a petting zoo and ate at restaurants.

"I do know that we can do our best to help prevent things from potentially happening," she wrote in another blog post. "Wash your hands with soap and water, make sure your food is prepared properly, make sure things are clean and sanitary."

The family is asking that donations be made in Grayson's name benefiting Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health's pediatric intensive care unit.

Call IndyStar reporter Vic Ryckaert at (317) 444-2701. Follow him on Twitter: @vicryc.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment