A family vacation turned into a tragedy after a toddler contracted E. coli during a trip to Turkey, which has since launched an investigation.
The Birchall family was staying in a luxury hotel in Turkey when several members of their group came down with flu-like symptoms. 2-year old Allie Birchall, however, was hit the hardest. “We all suffered gastric illness and there were a number of people complaining of being unwell during our stay at the hotel,” Katie Dawson, the toddler’s mother, has since said to the media. “But we didn’t anticipate how serious it could be.”
Upon returning back to their home in the U.K., Allie’s condition only worsened. The child began suffering from stomach pains, diarrhea, and had no appetite. On July 30th, she was admitted to a hospital where she was formally diagnosed with an E. coli infection. This sort of infection is often contracted when small amounts of feces (human or animal) enter the mouth. Unfortunately, Allie succumbed to her illness mere weeks before her third birthday. Her family revealed the toddler suffered severe brain damage as a result of the infection before passing.
Now, her family is alleging the poor conditions of the resort are to blame for the child’s untimely death, thus launching an investigation into the tragic incident. The family has made several startling claims about the hotel they were staying at. In a statement provided by their lawyer, for instance, they said the food was often left uncovered or cold. The pool and bathroom facilities were also evidently always left in a heinous state.
“We saw feces in the swimming pool and I spoke to other holidaymakers who saw the feces in the pool on more than one occasion, and staff just scooped it out without closing the pool or giving it a thorough clean,” Dawson explained, adding there was also feces covering the bathroom facilities.
Ultimately, the family hopes to raise awareness through their daughter’s story. “In sharing Allie’s story, we want to make people more aware of the signs and symptoms of STEC HUS,” Allie’s mother explained. “I kept thinking that if I had known about the condition then I would have probably taken Allie to the hospital sooner and it wouldn’t have ended the way it did.” Katie added, “Nothing will bring her back, we need to know what caused her illness and if anything could have been done to prevent it.”
As of now, Public Health England has launched an investigation into Allie’s death. BabyGaga will keep you updated as this story progresses.