PARKER, Colo. (CBS4) – A new death in Colorado could be linked to listeria after a Parker woman told CBS4 her mother ate contaminated cantaloupe and died Tuesday morning.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed a second death linked to listeria. There are now 14 cases in the state.
Shelly Occhipinti-Krout, 48, died early Tuesday morning at Parker Adventist Hospital. Her family says she contracted listeria a month ago.
“(She was my) best friend, hilarious, really the funniest lady you’d ever meet, ever,” Occhipinti-Krout’s daughter Tiffany Weider said. “She was just always bouncing off the walls, full of energy.”
When her mother got sick four week ago they thought it was the flu.
“Just the vomiting and diarrhea,” Weider said.
But within days Occhipinti-Krout was hospitalized as her condition worsened.
“They decided to do a CAT scan on her and then she went into cardiac arrest,” Weider said. “They put her into a medically-induced coma and then just within a few days they said it was caused by the listeria bacteria.”
It was the first Weider had heard of the deadly bacteria that has been found in cantaloupe now linked to Jensen Farms in Holly.
Occhipinti-Krout was a native of Hawaii and Weider said she loved cantaloupe and ate it all of her life.
“After all the ups and downs I still kept thinking that she was going to come home. She went like a normal person to the grocery store, get her stuff, come home, eat it. From that my mom got sick and I’m never going to get to see her again.”
Occhipinti-Krout was married with three children. Wider said she had some health issues in the last year that caused a weakened immune system.
A second lawsuit has been filed against Jensen Farms. An 84-year-old man and his wife are suing after the man was diagnosed with listeria. He says he got sick after eating cantaloupe from a King Soopers in Littleton.
To help out the family with funeral arrangements, donate to:
Shelly Occhipinti-Krout Memorial Fund
Any Wells Fargo Bank
Account # 8023490736