As much as any other victim of the 2006 Dole Spinach Outbreak, Suzanne Bandy’s case is about the staggering contrast between past and present.  When asked for her thoughts, Suzanne wrote of her first 57 years: “very simply, my life embodied the American Dream.”  Suzanne’s former life is, however, gone for good.  Now, she states, “I pray to God every day that I may wake up from this horrible nightmare and return to the life that I loved.”

Sadly, Suzanne’s prayers will never be answered.   The E. coli O157:H7 infection, along with the resulting hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), that she suffered in September 2006 devastated her kidneys.  Consequently, her current renal function—measured roughly a year after her acute illness—is nearing a level where either a kidney transplant or lifelong dialysis will be necessary for survival.  It is forecast that Suzanne will reach end stage renal disease in as little as five years.

Mr. President, this could have happened to you too.  E. coli O157:H7, as you will see from this video, is a very nasty bug.