DENVER - Five-month-old Keona Hinkel is still on a breathing machine inside the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, but doctors say she is getting stronger every day.
Lab results confirmed Keona had infant botulism, a rare, potentially life-threatening condition. There were only 85 laboratory-confirmed cases in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Infant botulism occurs when a bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, grows inside a baby's gastrointestinal tract, according to the U.S. Library of Medicine.
On New Year's Day, Keona's mother Kari Hinkel says she noticed Keona wasn't eating well and appeared very tired. Less than 24 hours later, the baby was rushed to RMHC after she stopped breathing. After doctors confirmed Keona's diagnosis, they began to treat her with Botulism Immune Globulin, the main treatment for the condition.
Kari Hinkel says she wants to raise awareness about infant botulism by sharing Keona's story with the public.
Botulism can occur in infants aged from six days to about 1-year-old if they swallow honey or are exposed to contaminated soil. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, symptoms can include constipation, slow breathing, lethargy and loss of head control.
LIKE her Facebook page to help her recovery here, https://www.facebook.com/GetWellSoonKeonaSky.
Rose Heaphy contributed to this report.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)