A man from Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against an amusement park, claiming that he contracted an eye-eating parasite from a water ride that simulated white-water rafting.
Amusement parks are supposed to be all fun and games until somebody loses an eye. In this man's case, however, he was in danger not just of losing his eye but also having it eaten.
Man Contracts Eye-Eating Parasite From Water Ride
Robert Trostle sued Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh for negligence after a trip to the amusement park in early July resulted in a harrowing experience.
In the lawsuit, Trostle said that he and his wife noticed that the water at Kennywood Park's Raging Rapids water ride appeared "dirty, stagnant and sludge-like," with the waterfall not operating. As the ride ended, Trostle said that some of the water splashed into his left eye.
A few days after visiting Kennywood Park, Trostle said that his eye became swollen and irritated. A trip to the doctor diagnosed his condition as a case of acute conjunctivitis, and he was given antibiotics. However, Trostle's condition grew worse, and when he returned to the doctor over a week later, the diagnosis was that he contracted microsporidia keratitis.
The lawsuit described microsporidia keratitis as a parasite that eats the victim's cornea, which necessitated surgery to get it out. However, even after what was said to be "an extremely painful surgery" where doctors tried to scrape the parasite out of his eye using a scalpel, microsporidia keratitis remained in Trostle's eye.
Eye-Eating Parasites In Kennywood
Trostle claims that he is still suffering from several symptoms, including pain, inflammation, itchiness, redness, and blurry vision on his left eye. The man is looking for at least $35,000 in damages.
"We're looking for answers, and we're looking for some responsibility," Alan Perer, the lawyer representing Trostle, told Newsweek. The water was said to have been tested by state government agencies, but no records of the inspection have surfaced.
Perer said that he and Trostle are sure that the water from Kennywood Park's Raging Rapids was the source of the parasite. Nick Paradise, a Kennywood Park spokesperson, declined to provide a comment on the matter, only stating that the amusement park follows all the necessary regulations set forth by the Pennsylvania State Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for the inspection and certification of amusement park rides.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that parasitic keratitis could be difficult to treat. The CDC added that the eye-eating parasite that victimized Trostle is commonly found in the environment, including in tap water, ventilations systems, air conditioning units, and hot tubs. There are also different kinds of parasites, including those that invade brains and those that cause cancer.