Back in March, a Delaware family traveled to the US Virgin Islands. It was supposed to be a relaxing trip for this family of four, but it quickly turned into a fight to save their lives.
- Family of four vacations to a very nice resort in St. John, USVI
- Without notifying the family, the room beneath them was fumigated
- Methyl Bromide was used, which was banned in the 1980s
- Exposure to the pesticide causes central nervous system damage
- The father is still experiencing paralysis
- One son has no control over his body movements and the other is in and out of a coma
- None of the 3 are expected to recover
- The mother has improved slightly, it is unclear whether she will fully recover
- Improper use of the pesticide may also be taking place in Puerto Rico
On March 18th, the Esmond family from Wilmington Delaware was staying at an $800/night resort called Sirenusa near Cruz Bay in St. John. During that time, a room beneath them, according to the Daily Mail, was being fumigated.
The pesticide being used contained methyl bromide. For those that aren’t familiar with this type of spray, exposure can lead to serious central nervous system and respiratory damage. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened to Steve Esmond, 49, his wife Theresa Devine, 48, and their two sons Sean, 16, and Ryan, 14.
As a result of exposure to the pesticide, Steve Esmond is currently still experiencing paralysis and must be strapped in a chair, according to the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday. The Governor went on to state the conditions of the two sons, Sean and Ryan, commenting that Sean is alert and conscious but has no control over his body movements, while Ryan is continuing to fall in and out of a coma. The Governor said that according to doctors, the men of the family are not expected to get any better. Meanwhile, their mother Theresa has improved slightly but it is not clear if she will make a full recovery.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also stated that the pesticide may have been improperly used in Puerto Rico as well.
As of now, no charges have been filed against the company responsible, Terminix International. The Governor of the Virgin Islands has stated that criminal charges will be filed against the company, although the United States Attorney General would not confirm or comment, according to The Daily News. The lawyer for the family also has not commented or confirmed any updates that were given by the Governor regarding the current status of the family.
The senior vice president of Terminix has stated that they are fully cooperating with investigators to make sure there is a justified outcome and that there is also an internal investigation, as reported by delawareonline.com.
As the investigation continues, answers will be sought out as to why a pesticide of this magnitude was used for fumigation and why it was used if it was banned. This will also probably fuel a debate as to why the family was never notified of the fumigation taking place. As for now, the damage has already been done in what was supposed to be ‘paradise.’