In Walnut Grove, California, Martin Gallindo, a 37-year-old man found something gruesome in his gas station nachos. Unfortunately, by the time he realized what it was, he found himself permanently paralyzed.
Botulism is a toxin found in bacterial spores. Gallindo is one of 9 people who have been infected with this disease. All those infected bought nachos from the Valley Oak Food and Fuel gas station in Walnut Grove.
According to Dr. Sean Townsend at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco the symptoms include “Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. But then symptoms that start are typically in the face with neurologic manifestations, so difficulty swallowing, difficulty speaking. Maybe one eyelid is dragging,” he said.
ABC News 7 reports:
As of Thursday morning, the Sacramento County Health Department had confirmed five cases, with three other possibles and one suspected.
That brings the total to nine, and all from tainted nacho cheese sauce served inside between April 22 and May 5.
“I have never seen my sister not have function or be able to communicate or be on tubes, anything like that,” said Theresa Kelly, the sister of another victim.
Her 33-year-old sister, Lavinia, has spent three weeks in a Sacramento intensive care unit. Her symptoms began with slurred speech.
Lavinia is a mother of three and had been preparing for a wedding. Her family said that while she remains aware, her motor skills are so far gone that she cannot even open her eyes. But the family said they still have hope. “Thank God that we know she can recover,” they said.
In the worst cases, patients become so paralyzed that they cannot even breathe and need a ventilator.
Doctors say recognizing symptoms early is key.