GxqUU.Em.jpgI got a phone call from Paul Schwarz’s son this tonight.  His father, Paul Sr. died this evening.  He became yet another statistic in this cantaloupe listeria tragedy.  Paul left behind his wife, children and grandchildren – all because he ate a cantaloupe.

As I wrote before, on October 31, Alan Bavley of the Kansas City Star did a great job putting a human face on a now nationwide listeria cantaloupe outbreak that had at the time sickened 133 while killing 28. That toll raised to 146 sickened with 30 deaths and 1 miscarriage.  His story – “Listeria traced to cantaloupe hits home for one KC family,” ran on the 31st. Here is a part about Paul Schwarz:

Paul Schwarz used to eat a lot of cantaloupe, but not anymore.

At least some of the melons Schwarz enjoyed for breakfast this summer came from Jensen Farms, the Colorado grower whose cantaloupe contaminated with listeria bacteria have been responsible for the nation’s deadliest food-borne disease outbreak in 26 years.

The 92-year-old Kansas City man was knocked off his feet by a listeria infection called listeriosis and spent five weeks in the hospital. Now he’s recovering in a nursing home. And he’s become the first area resident with listeriosis to sue Jensen Farms. The suit has been filed in federal court.

“It’s just like he has brain trauma,” said his son, also Paul Schwarz. “His speech, enunciating is difficult. He’s bed- and wheelchair-bound. He needed to have his food cut into small pieces.”

He ate a cantaloupe and now he is dead.

  • Kathleen

    I am so sorry that the Schwarz family is experiencing this trauma. Eating a cantaloupe shouldn’t have taken our parents. Please know that those of us who have walked in your shoes are praying for you this week as you honor your father.

  • Paul F Schwarz

    How much higher does the death toll have to rise before congress hold hearings? I am biased. The Paul Schwarz the dies last night is my father!

  • Mrs. Mudder

    To the family of Paul Schwarz,
    I will say prayers for your family’s anguish. He is in heaven
    now. May he rest in peace.
    It is time for Congress to do what we the people need

  • Paul F Schwarz

    Thanks for the kind words Kathleen and Mrs Mudder! My family rally appreciates the support and prayers.
    Whatever happened to ‘we the people’??

  • Donna

    I am so sorry to learn of your loss. My heart goes out to you and Kathleen. My father died at the end of August from the same listeria-tainted cantaloupe and it has been a struggle.
    It is time for Congress to conduct hearings on food safety. I have written my Congressman, Elijah Cummings, and hope than 2012 will bring some answers and much relief.
    Again, my sincere thoughts are with you and your family.