Toddler dies after catching E. coli on dream family holiday to Turkey leaving family heartbroken

A two-year-old ‘princess’ tragically died in hospital after catching E. coli on a dream family holiday to Turkey.

Allie Birchall began suffering from stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting just days into the sunshine break with her loved ones in July, 2019.

But 11 days after falling ill, the youngster, from Wigan, had deteriorated so much that doctors were unable to save her as she suffered brain damage, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The child and her family, from Atherton, near Wigan, had visited an all-inclusive with her family on July 23, 2019, an inquest at Manchester Coroner’s Court heard last month.

“Allie was found to have a unique strain of Escherichia coli (E. coli) which must have originated in Turkey but it is not possible to say how Allie acquired it,” the coroner has concluded. The child was admitted to Royal Bolton Hospital.

Allie Brenda Birchall with mum Katie on holiday in Turkey

Doctors were concerned that Allie was suffering from Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome caused by Shiga[-Toxin] producing Escherichia coli, the coroner found. Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome is a potentially fatal blood condition linked to Shiga-Toxin E. coli which can lead to kidney failure and brain damage.

As she was diagnosed with both illnesses and worsened, medics decided Allie needed to be transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for more supportive treatment, including dialysis, the inquest heard. Allie was placed into an induced coma on August 1 and her family de ella made the heart-wrenching decision to terminate her life support two days later, after an MRI scan revealed she had suffered brain damage, they told the inquest.

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After almost three years of waiting for answers about what happened to their little girl, the family hopes others might be saved from their suffering as they watched Allie be ‘snatched away in the cruelest way possible’. Allie’s mum Katie, 36, said: “Losing our little Allie so tragically and suddenly was heartbreaking for us all, and it’s still incredibly difficult to think we’ll never see her again.

The toddler fell ill just days into her holiday
The toddler fell ill just days into her holiday

“When she was admitted to hospital, we were all praying she would pull through. To be told she had suffered brain damage was absolutely devastating. The whole experience has been nothing short of traumatic and we have lost a huge part of our lives.

“Allie had her whole life ahead of her before it was snatched away in the cruelest way possible. Her death of her is something we’ll never get over. Sadly nothing can turn back the clock and bring our princess back to us, but we’re grateful that the inquest is over and we at least have some answers.

“All we can hope for now is that others don’t have to suffer like our family has.”

The coroner found little Allie’s medical cause of death to be encephalopathy (brain swelling) and other complications associated with Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome, brought on by Shiga-Toxin producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection.

Jatinder Paul, the Senior Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell representing Allie’s loved ones, said: “Allie’s death continues to have a profound effect on her family, including her mum Katie who in particular is understandably still struggling to come to terms with what they’ve all been through.

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“While we can’t change what happened, Allie’s family at least now have some answers as to why she was taken from them so soon. The dangers of gastric illnesses and infections should never be downplayed.

“E.coli is extremely serious and can result in long-term health problems and in the worst cases, such as this, death. We’ll continue to support them as they attempt to come to terms with their loss.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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