7-Year-Old Arizona Girl Fighting for Her Life After Eating Tainted Romaine Lettuce

Makayla Jarboe is fighting for her life.
Makayla Jarboe is hospitalized. Destiny Jarboe/CBS

A little girl in Arizona is extremely ill and battling to stay alive after contracting the E.coli virus, her mother says.

Makayla Jarboe, age 7, is on a ventilator after a lung filled with fluid. Her kidneys have stopped functioning and she is completely reliant on a dialysis machine to clean her blood. Doctors have sedated her, so she's unable to talk. 

Her mother, Destiny Jarboe, wants all mothers to heed a nationwide warning against eating romaine lettuce believed to be tainted by the devastating virus.

"I just don't want any other parent to have to go through this. You know, like I didn't realize how serious it was. No one has ever told me that E. coli is life-threatening."

Health officials have warned against eating the leafy, dark green lettuce. There have been 84 E.coli cases thus far. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the highest number is in Pennsylvania.

The lettuce is believed to have been grown in Arizona. 

Destiny thinks her daughter most likely picked it up from a salad she ate when the family dined out. She took Makayla to an emergency room on April 16 because the child had a terrible bout of diarrhea. They came home the next morning, only to return hours later because the girl developed severe stomach pains.

"When they told me E.coli, my first thing was, 'Oh, she'll just, you know, have an upset stomach for a few days and she'll be OK.'  I never knew E.coli could cause this."

She urged parents to pay close attention to what their children eat.

"Don't ignore the signs if they're having any sickness, don't ignore," she warns. "Bring them right in. It's not worth it."

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