Skip to main content


As told by her mother.

Riley was diagnosed with C. diff on May 10th of 2017 after having an upper GI test done. To celebrate the good news from the procedure, we went to Yellowstone National Park to camp, but sadly something was wrong with her, and she started to not feel well. I cut our camping trip short when she developed explosive diarrhea and couldn’t hold her bowels.

Doctors ran tests and said I was crazy and that it was a stomach bug. I felt like I was going crazy, but then our Denver doctors had some tests done, and sure enough—it was C. diff. I knew in the back of my mind from hearing reports and having a classmate with it.

Riley started the first round of Vancomycin—ten days—and she recovered normally like the doctor said. Two weeks later, Riley was right back at square one, but worse. Another round of Vancomycin—fourteen days. Things seemed to be getting better, and then boom! Out of nowhere we were looking at six days in the hospital. She couldn’t walk, her tummy pain was so bad that crying hurt her, she wouldn’t eat, she refused to drink, she didn’t pee, she got really pale and lethargic, and she lost a lot of weight.

Round three of Vancomycin (and talks of fecal transplant if this time didn’t do the job). Failed again! “How can this be happening?” I asked the doctor. He consulted with an infectious disease specialist there in Denver and prescribed a prolonged heavy tapering dose combined with heavy probiotics extensive therapy (VSL#3, Florastor 250mg, and kids’ Culturelle) for the gut, along with anti-cramping sublingual tablets.

By August 2017 she started this long process with the notion that a fecal transplant could become a reality. At the end of the first week there was no improvement, but by the middle of week two—big difference—her color came back, she was eating more, she didn’t sleep so much, fewer complaints of pain. By week four—tremendous strides—lower doses began. By October, my Riley was back to her old self, telling me, “Mom, I don’t need that anymore, my tummy’s better, see?” as she showed me her tummy with a grin. But she still had weeks to go on this medicine and therapy.

By mid-November and after hundreds of dollars in medicine paid out of pocket, checkups, stool tests, and losing my job over too many days missed, she was a happy and seemingly healthy kindergartener running on the playground. May was behind us, and the new year around the corner. Christmas came and went, and so did the New Year. In February we moved, and May was somewhat of a memory of a horrible nightmare. But now it’s trying to rear its ugly head again. I can only be proactive and start intensifying the probiotic therapy to try to avoid the chance of C. diff returning.

Tummy pains are coming back, as well as a lack of appetite. She’s a bit lethargic, a bit pale, but still in high spirits she remains. Doctors told us after four rounds of C. diff that her chances are greater than 50% of it plaguing her little body again, and it could be brutal this time around—more so than the last time. But this time I am informed and aware of what may happen and what may have to happen.

If you ask me if I’m emotionally prepared, honestly, my answer is yes and no. Just moving and starting a new school and daycare and me a new career, I fear the worst. Every day she goes to the bathroom and yells, “Mom, I went poop can you come help me?” I dread that smell, and I fear smelling it. My mind races, “Is this the time I’m going to find out it’s back?”

We have a long journey ahead of us, and fighting the nightmare pathogen (as they call it) is a long battle. I have had to explain to her school what it is, what it does, how it affects her and her classmates, and the precautions that need to be taken. Staff and faculty just look at me with blank stares and comment, “Oh poor thing,” with no understanding how serious this really is. It seems to me that the public schools and families within the school districts here in Wyoming have no real insight as to what C. diff is or how serious it really is and can be. There has to be a way for schools to become more informed about and more aware of C. diff.








Hospital Acquired

Other Stories

  • Mira

    In December of 2019, my husband got sick with C. diff. It was after he was prescribed antibiotics for what they thought was a case of diverticulitis. In hindsight, it’s clear he may have simply had C. diff all along. He was treated with vancomycin…
  • Length: ON AND OFF FOR 5 YEARS

    Beth W.

    My story began in 2018 when I went to see a colorectal surgeon for the incision of a thrombosed hemorrhoid. In order to ‘prevent’ an infection, the surgeon prescribed me both Amoxicillin 800mg 2x daily and Vancomycin 500mg 3x daily. Upon completio…
  • Length: 1 YEAR

    Mollie Lauck

    My Husband and I were expecting our first child. We were so very excited. My Pregnancy was complicated to begin with- I was considered “Advanced Maternal Age” and had Hypertension and Gestational Diabetes. Though it was a labor of love, Pregnancy …
  • Length: 5 MONTHS

    Ken Fredrickson

    I’m 62 and generally healthy, I’ve never had an intestinal issue. I went to the ER on Jan 2, 2023 and a CT scan revealed Diverticulitis. They sent me home with a 2 week course of antibiotics. Four days after completing the antibiotics, I developed…
  • Length: 8 MONTHS


    I am a healthy active older woman. On March 1, 2019 I had an explosive episode of diarrhea, out of the blue, no idea what caused it. The smell was indescribable, like nothing I had ever experienced in my long life. That was the beginning of a long…
  • Dr. Melissa Geraghty, Psy.D.

    At the start of 2018 I was diagnosed with C. diff. I never really heard much about C. diff outside of people acquiring it in a hospital setting or people of advanced age contracting it. Oh, was I wrong. After being sick for about 8 weeks with w…
  • Length: 19 MONTHS

    Cassie Padilla

    As a nurse for 35 years I thought I knew a lot about C. diff but as a patient I’ve discovered I knew NOTHING about C. diff. I have had 2 episodes of C. diff in my life. The first was in 2017 following (prophylactic) antibiotics after surgery. That…
  • Length: 3 YEARS


    I’ve been suffering from this infection for the past few years. When I was first diagnosed, I was shocked and thought this was something that only the elderly suffered from. It’s been 3 years since my first infection, and I still suffer daily. I’v…
  • Length: 4 MONTHS


    I had emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix and was given SO MANY antibiotics in the hospital. I was also given Protonix for the acid reflux that resulted from all the antibiotics. Looking at the list of risk factors for C. diff, I fit every o…
  • Howard

    While many of us who battle C diff have quick success with the usual antibiotics, the purpose of my entry here is to emphasize the high rate of success of the Fecal Microbiota Transplant. My C diff experience was such that A) a lengthy course of V…