Man claims he contracted eye-eating parasite from amusement park water ride

A Pennsylvania man and his wife have filed a lawsuit against an amusement park over claims that he contracted an eye-eating parasite after going on one of the water rides. Robert Trostle, who claims he was splashed while riding on Kennywood Park’s Raging Rapids on July 2, said the parasite could not be removed entirely through surgery, and has left him with painful symptoms, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Trostle and his wife, Krystsina, claim they noticed that the ride’s water supply was “dirty, stagnant and sludge-like,” while waiting in line. He alleges that he was splashed near the end of the ride, which imitates a white-water rafting trip, and initially suffered from symptoms similar to conjunctivitis which were treated with antibiotics on July 5.

Trostle and his wife visited Kennywood Amusement Park on July 2.

Trostle and his wife visited Kennywood Amusement Park on July 2. (iStock)

However, when his symptoms worsened, Trostle claims he was diagnosed with microsporidia keratitis, which “eats away at the cornea of the eye,” reported. The lawsuit claims Trostle then underwent 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 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), parasitic keratitis can be found in bodies of water and soil, or tap water, heating, ventilating and air conditioning units, as well as whirlpools. Infection may occur when organisms contained in water or contact lens solution enter the eye through small scrapes that can be caused by contact lens wear or minor eye injuries. It cannot be spread from to person.

Trostle claims he continues to suffer from blurry vision, itchiness, pain, inflammation and redness in the afflicted eye since doctors were not able to remove the parasite in entirety. The lawsuit names Kennywood Entertainment Inc., and seeks $35,000 in damages for the Squirrel Hill couple, charging that Kennywood failed to properly maintain the ride and filtration system.

A Kennywood spokesman told the Associated Press he couldn’t comment on pending litigation, but that safety of all rides and water are a “top priority” at Kennywood.