“She’s a fighter”, Léna came out of a coma but suffers from “mental deficiencies”

Victim of severe food poisoning after eating a Buitoni pizza, Léna (12) was in a vegetative state last spring. His parents give his news at the microphone of RMC.

What happens to children who are victims of Buitoni pizzas contaminated with E. coli bacteria? In the spring, two children died and a total of 55 were affected by haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). “RMC is committed to you”, at the origin of the revelations on the extent and seriousness of these cases of food poisoning, is still in contact with the families of victims. Léna, 12, was in a vegetative state after eating a Buitoni pizza in February. His parents, Cédric and Sophie, did not know if they could ever speak to him again. Since then, Léna has woken up. She came out of the coma in May. She is in a rehabilitation center during the day, at home at night. His parents no longer believed in it.

“It’s a miracle, for us, confides her dad, Cédric, at the microphone of RMC. Even the doctors, at the start, did not think that she was going to get out of it. We consider ourselves very happy to have been able to get her back with us, so that we can talk to her, even if she doesn’t always understand everything. At least we have our child. She walks, she talks, she eats again. She’s come home, it’s already a great good.”

“She’s a fighter, completes her mother, Sophie. We are already very proud of her and she can be very proud of her.” But the E. coli bacteria in the pizza produced toxins that reached his brain.

“She has mental deficiencies, a lot of memory loss, explains Cédric. She does not recognize everyone. She has lost the equivalent of four years of her life. remembers, but much smaller. She doesn’t remember what happened last year. She’s very, very late. Her mental age is between 8 and 10 years old, maximum.”

“We are very, very worried about the future of our daughter”

Lena still has a long way ahead of her. “She is no longer the same, says Sophie. She has a character that has changed enormously. We no longer recognize her today. We are very, very worried about the future of our daughter. Little by little , we learn again. It will take time, that’s for sure.” “It will take time”, is what all the families of victims tell us. The situations are sometimes very different. For many children, it is better. They gradually return to a more or less normal life, even if they are regularly monitored by specialists.

For others, it’s more complicated. A 7-year-old child, for example, came out of a coma, her parents tell us, but she still has problems with her heart and especially her leg. Doctors consider amputation…

As for the investigation, there too, it takes time. Too much according to the parents… In May, a judicial investigation was opened, in particular for manslaughter and involuntary injuries. Searches have indeed taken place at the Caudry factory where the pizzas were prepared and at the headquarters of Nestlé, which owns Buitoni, but there have been no hearings at this stage…

The president of the agri-food group apologized to him in mid-July, four months after the start of the scandal, and promises a support fund for victims, which he will detail on September 1. The results of the analyzes carried out internally should be known in the coming weeks.

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