A popular farm west of Wright County is in the spotlight after the two children were hospitalized. One of them has since died.
A Maple Lake family – the mother a Monticello High School graduate – is in mourning after a rare infection from E.Coli bacteria has taken the life of her daughter and left her son in a battle at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital.
Kallan Maresh, 4, died July 15 due to complications known as HUS – Hemolyic Uremic Syndrome – which attacks the kidneys and other organs. According to Kallan’s mother, Tyffani, the infection, which can be caused by the E.Coli bacteria, attacked her kidneys, nervous system and heart. She died in her parents’ arms.
The battle continues for her brother, Kade, who is still at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital. According to a CaringBridge site, Kade’s kidneys had stopped functioning and he was losing blood and dehydrated. But he has since started eating some solid food, had blood and platelet transfusions and is, the family hopes, on a road to recovery.
Meanwhile, the State Public Health Vetranarian is working with the Maresh family, including father, Joe, and Tyffani to find where and how the kids could have come in contact with the bacterial infection. The culprit, at this point, seems to be the A Maze’n Farmyard, an agri-tourism destination farm that’s been an attraction for families and field trips. The Maresh family visited the Eden Valley area farm the weekend after the Fourth of July, and the kids were seriously ill days after the visit to the farm, which includes a large maze and a petting zoo.
The state said the A Maze’n Farmyard, which has also been the center of controversy for its dog kennels and sales of puppies – with some alleging the farm masks a puppy mill operation – is cooperating with the investigation.
Meanwhile, the public can pitch in to help the Maresh family with funeral and medical expenses. Friends in Tyffani’s hometown of Monticello have set up a GoFundMe site, which has raised more than $50,000 to date and is still growing. The family will need the funds to cover travel and hotel expenses close to the U of M Hospital for family members, Kade’s medical expenses and the expenses incurred by their daughter, who tragically lost her fight against the E.Coli.