PALM CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A fun, active 10-year-old Florida boy who loves sports is now unable to control his limbs or speak clearly and suffers from uncontrollable twitching and flopping. Peyton McCaughey is hospitalized with brain damage that his family believes was caused by poisoning from termite treatment chemicals.
“He was… eyes rolling, legs weren’t working. He couldn’t hold himself up,” said Ed Gribben describing his nephew’s condition after he and his family moved back into their home after it was treated for termites.
Gribben says his sister Lori, her husband Carl, Peyton and younger sister left their Palm City home on the weekend of Aug. 14 so it could be tented and treated for termites. They were told it was safe to go back in on Sunday afternoon.
By Monday morning, Gribben says they were all sick. Peyton was the worst. A local doctor diagnosed him with chemical poisoning and Peyton was rushed to Miami Children’s Hospital. His family says the fun, active boy who loves sports has lost more than 90 percent of his motor skills and can’t speak or stand.
“He’s still got his sense of humor. He’s still got his personality. But, he has got to be so frustrated that he knows what he wants to say and he knows what he wants to do and he just can’t do it,” said Gribben. “It’s very hard to watch,” Gribben added, fighting back tears as he thought about his nephew.
Attorney Bill Williams represents the family and says he will file a suit against Terminex as well as Sunland Pest Control Services, which Terminex contracted to treat the house.
Terminex released a statement that said, “We are saddened to learn of this and our hearts are with the family. We are carefully reviewing the matter.”
Gribben has set up a Go Fund Me account to help his sister and her family. Lori, who is an assistant principal at Martin County High School, and her husband Carl will not be able to work while they stay with Peyton, who remains hospitalized in Miami.
“He may never be able to play on a field or court again, but our hope is to get him back on his own feet and to school, no matter how long it takes,” Gribben said on the Supporting Peyton McCaughey Go Fund Me page. The page was created on Tuesday, Sept. 1. As of noon on Friday, Sept. 4, $39,120 had been donated.
Information from CNN, WESH and the Peyton McCaughey Go Fund Me page was included in this report.