Summer is quite a long way away, but here’s a story that might have you preemptively crossing “go to the waterpark” off your to-do list. A Pennsylvania man is suing an amusement park after he allegedly contracted an eye-eating parasite while aboard one of its water rides.
Robert Trostle and wife Krystsina Trostle went to Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh on July 2, 2016, in the hopes of cooling off with some water rides. Their hopes were dashed while they were waiting in line for the Raging Rapids ride, though, when the Trostles noticed the water was “dirty, stagnant and sludge-like.”
“Additionally, the Trostles noticed that the waterfall was not operating,” the lawsuit continued, per WTAE-TV.
Perturbed but still eager to get on the ride, the couple decided to soldier on. They went through the ride without incident until the final stretch, when Robert Trostle was met with a squirt of the sludgy water in his left eye.
“Unbeknownst to Robert, this seemingly inconsequential event caused him to come into contact with microsporidia, a harmful parasite that eats away at the cornea of the eye and was present in the water used in the Raging Rapids,” the lawsuit contends.
By July 5, Robert Trostle’s left eye had become severely infected, leading to a diagnosis of acute conjunctivitis. Less than two weeks later, when the eye did not get any better, the diagnosis was upgraded to microsporidia keratitis.
(Warning: horror story-level surgery details abound in the next two paragraphs.)
“Robert had to undergo an extremely painful surgery where the parasite was scraped out of the eye with a surgical scalpel, and he was required to remain in a dark room for the next two days,” the lawsuit revealed.
“The microsporidia parasite penetrated the second level of Robert’s eye and the entirety of the parasite was unable to be removed via surgery. Robert still has problems with his left eye, including but not limited to, blurry vision, difficulty with night vision, itchiness, dryness, inflammation and pain, along with microsporidia still being present in his eye.”
Kennywood Park did not comment on the pending litigation, but it did release a statement insisting that “safety is Kennywood’s top priority in everything we do, and that certainly extends to maintenance of the rides and water involved in the rides.”