Tressa, Chloe, and Luke

Bruises everywhere. Central line heart surgery. Silent cries and hoarse voices from intubation.


PATHOGEN: Listeria  |    SOURCE: Ready-to-Eat Meats

September 29, 2017
It’s been 18 years tomorrow since we were diagnosed with listeria.
  • Two of us were less than one day old.
  • One of us had just delivered twins.
  • Two of us were in the NICU, One in the ICU.
  • One of us had an APGAR of 1; a temperature couldn’t be registered.
  • One of us had an APGAR of 4.
  • One had a temperature drop so low that organs were beginning to shut down.

Seizures, jittery episodes, diarrhea, encephalitis, IV needles coming out of foreheads when no more veins could be found. Bruises everywhere. Central line heart surgery. Silent cries and hoarse voices from intubation. Early intervention. Projectile vomiting. More diarrhea. Trying to keep medications down when everything wanted to come up. Praying for milestones to be reached. For healing to happen. Wondering about long term consequences.

Wondering why it still happens, even more often, 18 years later. Wondering if we will ever forget. Wondering how we all three somehow survived when the strain we had kills 30% of those stricken with it.

What do we have to say, 18 years later? Thank you.

Thank you to Stop Foodborne Illness for allowing us to try to heal. For letting us focus on preventing others from suffering the way we did. Thank you for letting us participate in advocating for better laws, rallying for better testing, and videotaping us to help others who have the power to make food safer understand, for allowing us to hold a fundraiser, for having the media call us, for introducing us to others like us. Thank you for empowering us and for teaching us how to take a stand. Thank you for not forgetting us, one family, out of so many families.

We hope over the next 18 years we can do even more, because we all have to eat. And we will always want to Stop Foodborne Illness. Thank you for all you do, for all the victims.

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