Peyton McCaughey, a 10-year-old Florida boy, has been hospitalized, and has suffered brain damage from a recent termite fumigation at his family’s home.
Peyton’s mother Lori, dad Carl, and little sister returned to their home in Palm City, Florida, two days after it had been fumigated for termites. They were told by the Terminix subcontractor that it was safe to return to their home. However, later that night, on August 16, the entire family started getting sick, experiencing nausea and vomiting, according to WPBF.
While the rest of the family started feeling better, Peyton was still experiencing symptoms and was taken to the Miami Children’s Hospital, where he currently remains, barely able to turn his head, let alone walk or talk. The doctors told Peyton’s family that he may have lifelong brain damage.
“He was having uncontrollable muscle movements, couldn’t stand up, couldn’t speak, so they took him to local walk-in clinic and the doctor quickly recognized it was probably poisoning from a (fumigation) treatment,” said Peyton’s uncle, Ed Gribben.
“He has traumatic brain injury and loss of motor skills,” the family’s lawyer, Bill Williams, said of Peyton. “The rest of the family is fine, thank God. The little boy is not fine. And based on all the facts we have in our investigation, the chemicals utilized in the fumigation have poisoned this little boy.”
The McCaughey family retained a lawyer because they said Terminix would not answer their questions as to what happened during the fumigation.
“They just continue to be non-responsive and won’t accept responsibility. And that is pretty frustrating. They are disregarding the human element of it to try and protect themselves,” Gribben said.
“We are saddened to learn of this and our hearts are with the family. We are carefully reviewing the matter,” a Terminix spokesman said in a statement.
“We are aware of the tragic and heartbreaking incident involving Peyton, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is investigating Sunland Pest Control in collaboration with the EPA and the Department of Health,” the department said in a statement on Friday evening.
According to WPTV West Palm Beach, Lori is an assistant principal at Martin County High School and his dad, Carl, works for the family’s remodeling business. Since Peyton has been hospitalized, neither of them have been able to work, causing a financial strain on their family.
“They’ve got a real threat of lack of income. It is going to be a real problem very soon,” Gribben said.
They have created a Facebook group, “Support Peyton McCaughey,” and have set up a GoFundMe account to help with their accrued expenses.
“He seems to have retained his personality and cognitive skills. Being young, he may be able to reroute the messages through other parts of his brain to regain some of his motor skills,” the fundraising site reads. “But, he has to relearn them through a lengthy process consisting of daily physical and occupational therapy. It has become apparent that it will be much longer than weeks; but, hopefully it will be months, not years, of recovery time.”
[Photo via GoFundMe.com]