Teen contracts E. coli from peanut butter substitute

Soynut butter has since been recalled
Posted at 10:54 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 23:14:20-04

A Manatee County family wants to warn other people about a recall after a loved one became ill.

Lily O'Neal spent a month at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg. Her family said she was infected by the E. Coli outbreak. She is believed to be one of the 29 reported Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cases. The CDC indicates most of the cases are of people under the age of 18.

"I just don't want anyone else to have to go through what I did," Lily O'Neal said.

Lily suffered a number of issues including kidney failure, a low platelet count, and four blood transfusions. She does not remember too much about her recovery at the hospital.

"She couldn't get out of bed. She couldn't walk. She couldn't…..she was paralyzed," said Tracy O'Neal who is Lily's mother.

Tracy  said the biggest mystery was figuring out what she ate that made her sick.

"Never quite experienced anything that scary," Tracy said.

Tracy said they later found out it was the I.M. Healthy Soynut Butter they bought; Lily is allergic to peanuts.

"We know she had had a couple of spoonfuls at least," Tracy said.

Lily said they typically purchase a different brand.

"I remember eating it. I would have never guessed that my sickness came from that," Lily said.

Lily fought every day at the hospital to get better. She has recovered. She was released from the hospital a week before her 14th birthday.

"I was doing anything I could to get out," she said.

Lily underwent physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Her mother said she is doing great now. Lily is focused on her passions and being as active as she used to be.

"I feel like I'm my old self again," Lily said.

For more information on the recall, go to: