Melton Family Bouncing Back After Two Boys Sickened By E. Coli Last Year

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BRYAN - Two College Station little boys are bouncing back one year later after being infected with E. coli from a local restaurant.

Jack and Noah Melton were hospitalized for weeks at Texas Children's Hospital.

News 3 talked to the boys' parents Friday about a very frightening experience that turned out for the better.

There's boundless energy at Tanglewood Park in Bryan as 5-year-old Jack Melton handed his mother a flower.

But Jack and 2-year-old Noah Melton haven't fully recovered from what happened last April 16th when the family went for a meal at Coco Loco Mexican Restaurant on George Bush Drive in College Station.

"We had several touch and go moments," said Alissa Melton, the boys' mother.

"Potential life and death situations," said their dad Greg Melton.

"There were times we weren't sure they were going to make it the next hour you know. And when you have your 18-month-old staring at you lifeless, pale and white and doctors are rushing in there's nothing more terrifying. And they were sick you know just from eating a taco," said Alissa Melton.

After an investigation the Brazos County Health Department determined the boys and their parents had eaten ground beef contaminated with E. coli from the restaurant.

10 people were believed to be infected.

Little Noah was in the hospital a month at Texas Children's in Houston while Jack three weeks.

Their Family Physician Dr. Rusty Bacak says they developed Hemolytic-uremic syndrome or HUS, which affected their red blood cells and kidneys.

"In a lot of ways they are lucky; almost 10 percent of children with HUS die and so, but at the same time there's a good chance they may have long term kidney problems in the future," said Bacak, M.D.

The Meltons are grateful for all the prayers, encouragement and help from the community as they reflect on this Good Friday.

"I think if we learned anything it's that we're not in control and that we can't control every aspect of our lives and that you know that we can trust God with our lives and with our kids's lives," said Alissa Melton.

Moving on with a new outlook on life.

"1, 2, 3! Good job guys!" cheered Alissa Melton as the boys zoomed down a slide.

The Meltons have filed a lawsuit against Coco Loco's insurance company, in part to cover medical bills.

The Health Department never shut down the restaurant.

And after follow up inspections and the restaurant establishing a gloves-only food handling policy, the Health Department said it was safe to eat there.