A Delaware family who were poisoned by pesticide while vacationing in St. John in March remain in a serious condition and are unlikely to fully recover, the Governor of the Caribbean island said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Stephen Esmond, his wife, Theresa Devine, and teenage sons, Ryan and Sean, were overcome by fumes from methyl bromide, a highly toxic odorless pesticide, while staying in a luxury rental villa at the Sirenusa resort.
Describing the pesticide used by Terminix as “a toxin to the neuro systems,” Governor Kenneth Mapp said, “it has affected this family horribly,” the Virgin Islands Daily News reports.
Esmond is suffering severe paralysis and “must be strapped in to even sit,” Mapp said.
His wife seems to be recovering better than the rest of her family, while the couple’s oldest son, Ryan, is paralyzed from the neck down, and has no control of the movement of his limbs or body, Mapp continued.
Sean, the youngest son, is unable to move his body, does not have any sensation in his limbs and is “in and out of a coma,” Mapp said, adding that “the doctors do not expect any significant recovery from their present condition.”
The family were found by paramedics on March 20 (two days after the condo beneath their had been sprayed with the pesticide) and were airlifted to a U.S. hospital. The family’s attorney said in May that Esmond and Devine were undergoing rehabilitation therapy while their children remained in critical condition.
Terminix is reportedly being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice over the use of the pesticide, but Mapp said on Tuesday that no charges of violations had been made against the company in St. John.