E. coli Patient Talks About Near-Death Experience

Patty Timko says home has never looked better. The 20 year old from Fairview Heights finally left the hospital Monday following a near-fatal bout with E. coli.

Patty contracted the bacteria after eating a steak burrito at Habaneros-a Mexican restaurant in the St. Clair Square food court. Patty spent 3 weeks at Barnes-Jewish Hospital where, among other things, her kidneys failed.

She credits a strong support system for helping her pull through. "I had friends and family that were there with me and there was just so much support that I personally never knew I would have had. There's so much-so much to be thankful for."

Five other customers at Habaneros contracted E. coli but their symptoms were not life threatening. Monday afternoon the St. Clair County Health Department authorized the restaurant to reopen-at this point the source of the bacteria has not been identified.