Baby makes remarkable recovery after catching rare infant botulism

DENVER – Doctors say 5-month-old Keona Hinkel is improving after the infant was infected with infant botulism – a rare and potentially deadly disease.

Less than 200 children get the diagnosis every year.

Infant botulism happens when bacteria grows inside the gastrointestinal tract. The bacteria is common in nature and can infect a person through contact with soil and certain foods like honey and some corn syrups, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Keona’s mother, Kari Hinkel, said the baby started getting sick on Nea Year’s Day when she wasn’t eating well. Less than 24 hours later, Keona stopped breathing and was rushed to Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children.

Hinkel says she wants to spread awareness of the bacteria by sharing her story with the public on Wednesday.