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Premature baby who survived listeria comes home after three months in hospital

Msnbc.com's JoNel Aleccia writes:

Three months after she was born, Kendall Paciorek is finally home, just in time for Christmas.

The premature girl from Fishers, Ind., is one of the tiniest victims of last summer’s deadly listeria outbreak in cantaloupe, which sickened 146 people, including 30 who died.


Jonathan Adams for msnbc.com

Newborn Kendall Paciorek gets special attention from her sister Madison and her mom Michelle Wakley on her first full day home from the hospital. Kendall was born three months prematurely when her mother contracted listeria after eating contaminated cantaloupe.

Jonathan Adams for msnbc.com

Michelle Wakley and her daughter Madison created scrapbook pages documenting Kendall's three-month stay in the hospital.

Kendall was one of three newborns diagnosed with listeria infections in the outbreak that largely affected the elderly, according to the CDC. Four pregnant women became ill; one had a miscarriage.


Jonathan Adams for msnbc.com

With help from Madison, Dave Paciorek feeds his daughter Kendall via a gastrointestinal tube with help from his 4-year-old daughter Madison.

Jonathan Adams for msnbc.com

A gastrointestinal tube inserted in Kendall's stomach provides an alternative way to feed the three-month-old girl. The helps to assure that Kendall gets a full feeding every three hours even though she has little energy to feed herself.

The months since then have been a blur of hospital rooms, doctors’ visits and worried conversations about Kendall’s future.

“You almost panic because they tell you about all kinds of learning disabilities and other problems,” she said. “It’s been like an emotional roller-coaster.”

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