Michael Moss has won the Pulitzer Prize for his article detailing the E. coli O157:H7 illness of Stephanie Smith and the outbreak, linked to Cargill ground beef, that changed her life forever. Mr. Moss’s article, published in October 2009 (two years after the Cargill outbreak), was titled "The Burger that Shattered Her Life."
Mr. Moss’s investigative reporting detailed the path of the ground beef that was eventually purchased by Stephanie Smith’s family. The burger she ate was contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, and her illness was so severe that she was put into a medically induced coma for months. When doctors were able to bring her out of the coma, she was paralyzed and suffered organ failure and cognitive damage. Two years later, Stephanie remains in rehab, trying to walk again. Stephanie Smith’s E. coli O157:H7-induced HUS illness was the most severe we have ever seen.