A 2-year-old boy, named Karl Jed Talingting from Barangay Punta Engaño, Lapu-Lapu City died last Thursday, August 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM after falling ill from eating strawberry wafers sticks. His three siblings, Claralyn, 4, Chloe, 3, Clarence, 6, their cousin Jaden Liam Cañamo, 6, and their neighbor, Andres Sabidor, 60 also ate the wafer sticks and suffered from the same symptoms after 1-2 hours – stomach pains, diarrhea and vomiting and turned pale. Except, for Carl Jed, everyone was able to recover.
Jaden Liam Cañamo’s mother, Gretchen Jugan, bought 2 packs of the wafer sticks from a co-worker in Mactan Economic Processing Zone (MEPZ) named Marichu whose husband works as a security guard at the factory that manufactured the wafer sticks. These were repacked in plastic bags and sold to Jugan at P80 per bag, each containing a kilo. Jugan noticed that the food was slightly moist but disregarded that and placed them in the refrigerator. The next day, she gave one pack to her son to eat which he shared with his cousins and neighbor. 1-2 hours after, the victims started showing symptoms of what was suspected to be food poisoning at 4:00 PM, Wednesday, August 12, 2015.
Jugan took her son to the Our Lady of Rule Hospital. Only Karl Jed’s condition turned critical and was taken to Lapu-Lapu City District Hospital at 8:00 AM on Thursday morning. Later, he was transferred to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center where he was declared dead at 7:00 PM. Cause of death was septic shock caused by acute gastroenteritis with severe dehydration.
She said this was the fourth time she bought the wafer sticks from her friend so she didn’t expect there was anything wrong with them. Her friend said that the factory was selling them at a lower price because the wafer sticks had broken. However, recent reports say the wafer sticks were smuggled. The police asked Jugan to hand over the other bag of wafer to be examined but she had already thrown them away. But Sabidor was able to produce one plastic bag and showed it to the media.
Karl Jed just celebrated his 2nd birthday two months before the tragedy. The funeral was scheduled to be held today, August 17, 2015.
Photo credits: Sun.Star