‘It wasn’t my child’: Toddler hospitalized with E. coli from lake swim, family says

PAWHUSKA, Okla. (KFOR/CNN) - An Oklahoma family is warning others after they say their 2-year-old had to be rushed to the emergency room when she contracted E. coli while swimming in a state lake.

Mother Jessye Millard says her 2-year-old daughter Lili started acting strangely and eventually ended up in the hospital after swimming at Bluestem Lake in Osage County, Okla. (Source: Family photos/KFOR/Tribune/CNN)

Mother Jessye Millard says her 2-year-old daughter Lili started acting strangely after the family spent Memorial Day swimming at Bluestem Lake in Osage County, Okla.

"She was actually sitting still with us and watching TV, and we’re like, ‘This isn’t Lili,’” Millard said. “She started getting really irritable and screaming off the top of her lungs. We finally were just like, ‘I think there’s something wrong.’”

Because of those symptoms, Millard took the toddler to the doctor.

“That’s what kind of pushed me to take her in, just because it wasn’t my child,” she said.

Millard says the doctor came back with shocking news, telling them to get Lili to the emergency room as quickly as possible. The toddler had tested positive for Shiga toxin Type 2, a type of E. coli.

“There was a lot of fighting back tears, especially through the process of giving blood, because it took five of us just to hold her down. That’s a traumatic experience just in itself,” Millard said.

Lili’s 8-year-old cousin is also suffering health complications after swimming at the lake.

The family is now warning others about the frightening experience, which left them afraid to let their kids back in the water.

“It’s kind of sad because it’s kind of taken that away because we’re all scared to let them swim again,” Millard said.

City officials confirmed the water is being tested.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is not working this specific incident but reminds people not to swim in flooded areas, to avoid swallowing water when swimming and to pay attention to signage around lakes.

Copyright 2019 KFOR, Tribune, Family photos via CNN. All rights reserved.

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