West County girl hospitalized after eating salad possibly linked - KMOV.com

West County girl hospitalized after eating salad possibly linked to E. coli outbreak

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Stephanie Ingberg is on the road to recovery after coming in contact with E-Coli while eating a salad in March. (Credit: KMOV) Stephanie Ingberg is on the road to recovery after coming in contact with E-Coli while eating a salad in March. (Credit: KMOV)
WEST ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) -

An 18-year-old West County girl is on the road to recovery after coming in contact with E. coli after eating a salad believed to have contaminated lettuce in March.

Parkway West High School senior Stephanie Ingberg left for the Dominican Republic with her mother for a spring break vacation. Ingberg began to feel ill as she was on her way but things got worse after she arrived at her destination.

Her family believes the lettuce in Ingberg's salad she had at a St. Louis-area restaurant is linked to the nationwide E. coli outbreak. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  said chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Arizona, area is to blame for the outbreak.


READ: Romaine lettuce to blame for multi-state E. coli outbreak


The number of cases has been reported in more than 20 states including Missouri and Illinois, according to the CDC. Latest reports indicated this is the largest E. coli outbreak with nearly 100 people becoming ill.

"She was getting confused. She didn't recognize me for a minute and at that point they put her into the ICU," said the girl's mother, Candie Ingberg.

The mother said at one point she thought her daughter was going to die.

“I thought that she had died when they pulled me into a room. People were rushing in and out speaking Spanish,” she said. “When they did tell me I could go see her, I thought they were going to tell me she had passed away,”

Family members were determined to bring Ingberg back home to get the proper treatment she needed.

"It was going downhill quickly for her and most of these air ambulances could not get her out until Friday, Saturday, Sunday," said the teen's father, Scott Ingberg. "We needed someone immediately within 24 hours. We found one that not only got her out within 24 hours but would be willing to bring her all the way to St. Luke's Hospital."

The 18-year-old is still very sick and her kidneys are not functioning at full strength but she is recovering.

News 4 spoke with Ingberg as she was getting ready for her senior prom Saturday. She said that she is trying to get back to a having a 'regular life' after her near-death experience.

"I lose my balance really easily and have to be helped up and down the stairs but I had to beg my parents to let me go to prom tonight," the teen said. " I appreciate life now because it's pretty fragile, and treat every day like it's your last cause you never know what's going to happen."

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