Parents of Texas boys sickened from E. Coli insulted by news conference

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by Drew Karedes

KHOU 11 News Houston

Posted on May 22, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 22 at 2:10 PM

HOUSTON—The parents of an 18-month-old and a four-year-old who were sickened from E. coli are satisfied that health officials determined the source of the sickness. However, they’re not so happy with how that news was delivered to the media.

The Brazos County Health Department determined that Noah and Jack Melton, and at least three others, got sick from Coco Loco restaurant. Health officials said the source was contaminated ground beef.

Dr. Eric Wilke took a bite of a ground beef taco from Coco Loco prior to making that announcement.

“Since everybody, I’m sure, would want to know the name of the restaurant, I went by there right before I came. I got a beef taco, so here it is,” said Dr. Eric Wilke, with the Brazos County Health Department.

Wilke paused to chew the taco before continuing with the announcement at the news conference.

“The restaurant is Coco Loco, “ said Dr. Wilke. “If you want to meet there tomorrow, we could go eat lunch. I shouldn’t have taken a big bite while I’m on camera.”

Parents Greg and Alissa Melton feel Dr. Wilke should’ve got straight to the facts.

“If his kids were in that situation, in the hospital for a month, it wouldn’t have been such a joking matter,” said Greg Melton.

Last week, Melton’s four-year-old son Jack was released from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

On Monday, the same day as the news conference, his 18-month-old son Noah was released.

“They seemed more concerned about saving face for the restaurant than the critical care my kids were in,” said Greg Melton.

Greg Melton went on to say that he wasn’t going to let the insult overshadow the joy of having his family together and back home.

“God just showed himself to us, and our family and friends, through this,” added Melton. “There are a lot of kids in here who didn’t make it and passed away. We feel lucky to be heading home with our kids.”

The Meltons said they couldn’t wait to sit down together as a family to eat dinner. They’re expecting another son any day now.

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