Child on way to leukemia treatment becomes physically ill while stuck in I-275 construction

NORTHERN KENTUCKY (FOX19) - The major construction project taking place on Northern Kentucky highways is doing much more than creating bumper to bumper traffic. For one family, it caused a 10-year-old boy to become physically ill.

Karen Steenken tried to get her son, Jonah, to Children's Outpatient Northern Kentucky in Crestview Hills for his leukemia treatment Thursday morning, but found a road block in her way. Meanwhile, her 10-year-old son was getting sick in the back seat.

"By the time I got to Thomas More Parkway, I turn on to Thomas More Parkway and Jonah throws up all over the car," said Steenken.

Her normal route includes the exit at Turkeyfoot Road, but she found it closed when she got there. With Jonah suffering from motion sickness, Karen said a little road closure warning would have gone a long way.

"Put a sign up. Let people get off prior to Turkeyfoot Road."

Kentucky Department of Transportation Chief Engineer Rob Hans says, "Unfortunately when you sign a detour before you get to a closure point, most of the time motorists don't read those signs or understand what that indication is really telling them. So they would miss that signage anyway and then proceed on to the next exit."

St. Elizabeth's hospital released a statement saying:

"Although we at Children's Outpatient Northern Kentucky, in partnership with St. Elizabeth Healthcare, cannot control the construction that is currently going on to improve the highways, we are dedicated to providing the best services to our patients."

The good news is that Jonah is doing fine and was eventually able to get his treatment. His doctors say he is right where they expect him to be and the ultimate goal is to get Jonah into remission so he can enjoy being a ten-year-old boy again.

The construction is all part of the "Revive the Drive" project, which involves several rehabilitation projects along Northern Kentucky's major interstates. Officials say the projects will result in improved driving conditions, added safety, and the routine maintenance that is crucial for the interstate's infrastructure of Northern Kentucky.

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