An investigation will examine whether the death of a two-year-old, who contracted a bacterial infection after vacationing in Turkey, could have been prevented.
Allie Birchall, of Atherton, suffered from gastric illness including stomach cramps and diarrhea shortly after returning from a 10-day stay at the Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa in Antalya with her family in July 2019.
She was then admitted to the hospital where she was diagnosed with Shiga-Toxin-producing E.Coli (STEC).
She then developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious and life-threatening blood disease related to STECs, which can lead to kidney failure and brain damage. Despite the best efforts of the doctors, little Allie passed away on August 3 of that year, just weeks before her third birthday.
A pre-inquest review took place into Allie’s death at Manchester Coroner’s Court yesterday as her family, including mother Katie Dawson, searched for answers.
The hearing ruled that a full investigation at a later date will determine how, when and where Allie was exposed to E. Coli and whether it was preventable. It comes after Allie’s family raised concerns about the condition of the hotel. All of them complained of suffering from gastric symptoms while on vacation, which had been booked through tour operator Jet2 Holidays.
The hearing heard that a report produced by pathologist Dr Melanie Newbold, who performed an autopsy, presented a medical cause of death as “conditions associated with HUS due to toxins produced by E. Coli”.
Speaking by video link, Ian Denham, lawyer for Allie’s family, said: ‘We would like the reach to expand to how, when and where it was likely Allie was infected with the pathogen.
“The family are very keen to know what it was like and where Allie was found to be exposed to this rare serotype. It is a disease associated with high mortality and long-term kidney problems.
“Given the possibility that this is a pathogen that may be associated with contaminated food, drink and the condition of the pool water, the court may wish to determine whether the disease is occurred or not at the hotel and was associated with hygiene problems. . “
Daniel Saxby, lawyer for Jet 2 Holidays, has expressed his “sincere condolences” to Allie’s family and friends for their “tragic loss” on behalf of Jet 2 and himself.
He added: “This particular serotype is very rare and never seen before in the UK. We accept a more general investigation of how it might have been acquired, but this should be of comparatively limited scope. ”
Manchester City Regional Coroner Zak Golombeck said: “In terms of scope, the investigation will extend to how, when and where Allie was exposed to the pathogen E. Coli and, therefore, whether his death was preventable. “
Allie’s mother, Katie, 36, was virtually present at the hearing but did not speak.
Before the hearing, she said: “Our lives haven’t been the same since and while we can’t go back and change what happened, we need answers as to why our princess has been taken from us.
“This is the least we deserve and we hope the investigation provides them to us.”
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