|Birth: ||Dec. 10, 1998|
|Death: ||Aug. 11, 2001|
Kevin died after eating a hamburger made from meat contaminated with the E.coli virus.
Kevin's mother Barbara Kowalcyk:
"On Tuesday, July 31, 2001, our two-year-old son, Kevin, awoke with diarrhea and a mild fever. On the evening of August 1st, we took him to the emergency room for bloody diarrhea but were sent home. By the next morning, Kevin was much sicker and was hospitalized for dehydration and bloody stools. Later, that afternoon, we were given the diagnosis: E.coli O157:H7. On August 3rd, Kevin's kidneys started failing. He had developed the dreaded Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Late that night he was transferred to the Pediatric ICU at the University of Wisconsin's Children's Hospital. My husband, Mike, and I spent the next eight days living in that hospital - watching our beautiful son slip away from us.
On that first Saturday in the PICU, Kevin received his first dialysis - a three-hour procedure during which he needed to keep still. That's a tall order for any toddler, so my husband, the nurse and two of our friends held his arms and legs while they talked and sang songs to reassure him for the entire treatment. Kevin spent the rest of that day and the next two crawling around a crib in agony. He threw up black bile. He became drawn and his eyes were sunken. He looked like a malnourished third world child. And he smelled - a horrible and overwhelming smell - a smell you could never forget. During those three long days, Kevin begged us to give him water or juice, but the doctors said it would only make him worse. He repeatedly asked to swim in his turtle - a pool we used at home. Kevin finally convinced us to give him a sponge bath and, as soon as the washcloth came near his mouth, he grabbed it, bit down on it and sucked the water out of it. It broke our hearts.
On Tuesday, August 7th, Kevin was placed on a ventilator and continuous dialysis. In hopes of preventing Kevin from remembering this ordeal, doctors heavily sedated him. As the medication wore off, Kevin would try to pull the tubes out so braces were put on his arms. His body began to swell. Doctors inserted tubes to drain fluid off both of his lungs. By the end of the week, he was receiving more medications than we could count to stabilize his blood pressure and heart rate. He had received eight units of blood. A special bed was ordered to help alleviate some of his pain, but throughout it all the hospital staff remained optimistic. They said that this was typically the way HUS/E.coli kids got through the illness. But for Kevin, all of this was not enough and finally on August 11th at 8:20 pm after being resuscitated twice - as doctors were attempting to put him on a heart-lung machine - our beloved Kevin died. He was only 2 years, 8 months and 1 day old. The autopsy later showed that both Kevin's large and small intestines had died - a condition that is 100% fatal.
The week after Kevin died is mostly a blur for us but we do remember some things. We remember telling our 5-year-old daughter, Megan, that her best friend - her brother - would not be coming home with us. We will never forget the look on her face. We remember meeting with the funeral home director to pick out a casket. We remember going through Kevin's closet looking for his white ring-bearer suit, so we could bury him in it. We remember walking through the cemetery looking for where we should bury our Kevin. And we remember the day we buried him.
On August 16, 2001, we didn't just bury our son. We also buried part of ourselves. We will never be the same people we were before. No parent should have to watch their child die the type of death that Kevin suffered. Our daughter will never be the same. No one should have to grow up at the age of five. Our community will never be the same. No preschooler should have to ask to go to a cemetery to visit their friend. But, it did happen to our family and our community."
Created by: Still_6
Record added: Aug 16, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15388075
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So heartbreaking. May somehow you will find some comfort. God bless you. Kevin is now at peace.|
heavens just 'round the bend
Added: Aug. 19, 2013
I never really met you or know you but i saw the film your mom did for you.She worked so hard to get that law passed. We would have been the same age and what i just want to say is R.I.P and god bless your family and have fun in heaven. In my best wishes ...(Read more)|
Added: Nov. 1, 2012
He was a beautiful child who died before his time. :'(|
Added: Jul. 9, 2012
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