A TWO-YEAR-OLD girl died just days after a Jet2 holiday at a “disgusting” four-star hotel where faeces were reportedly seen floating in a swimming pool.
Little Allie Birchall was struck down by E.Coli poisoning and developed complications after staying at the Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa in Turkey.
Her family had to make the heartbreaking decision to switch off her life support after she was flown back to the UK and had been rushed to hospital.
Allie died on August 3 – just three weeks before her third birthday – and less than two weeks after returning home from their holiday at the resort.
Her mum, Katie Dawson, told how all members of the family suffered from gastric symptoms including stomach cramps and diarrhoea after flying out for their 10-day stay on July 12.
Katie said they had serious concerns over their stay at the resort near Antalya, which they booked through holiday operator Jet2.
She said: “Food was sometimes left uncovered and occasionally served lukewarm, and there were birds occasionally flying around the food.
“We saw faeces in the swimming pool and I spoke to other holidaymakers who saw the faeces in the pool on more than one occasion, and staff just scooped it out without closing the pool or giving it a thorough clean.
“The walls in the children’s toilets were also smeared with faeces. It was disgusting.”
We saw faeces in the swimming pool and I spoke to other holidaymakers who saw the faeces in the pool on more than one occasion, and staff just scooped it out without closing the pool or giving it a thorough clean.
Allie's mum, Katie Dawson
But Allie did not start getting ill until five days after getting back to their home in Atherton, Greater Manchester, when she began suffering with stomach cramps, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and lethargy.
Peppa Pig fan Allie was seen by an out-of-hours GP, but as she got worse she was admitted to Royal Bolton Hospital on July 30 where various tests were carried out.
It was confirmed that Allie had contracted Shiga-Toxin producing E.Coli (STEC), which later led to her developing deadly Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) – a life-threatening complication related to the poisoning.
HUS is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects the blood and blood vessels, resulting in the destruction of blood platelets. It can also cause kidney failure and brain damage.
Allie was moved to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and put in an induced coma on August 1.
Katie had to make the difficult decision to terminate Allie’s life support after an MRI scan revealed that she had sustained severe brain trauma and damage.
Katie said: “I keep thinking that if I had known about the condition, then I would have probably taken Allie to hospital sooner and it wouldn’t have ended the way it did.
“Allie was such a beautiful, happy girl and we are all utterly heartbroken. We still can’t believe she is gone.
“She was always giving kisses and cuddles at home, and always wanted to be sat on someone’s knee or to be picked up and carried around.
“There is now a massive hole in our home and our hearts. We all miss her dearly. She should not have died. She had so much to give.
“While nothing will bring her back, we need to know what caused her illness and if anything could have been done to prevent it.”
There is now a massive hole in our home and our hearts. We all miss her dearly. She should not have died. She had so much to give.
Allie's mum, Katie Dawson
The family have now instructed specialist international serious injury lawyers, Irwin Mitchell, to investigate what happened.
Public Health England is also currently investigating the matter, and an inquest has been opened to examine the circumstances surrounding Allie’s death.
Jatinder Paul, a Senior Associate Solicitor and specialist international serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “This is every parent’s worst nightmare and we are supporting Katie and her family through this difficult time and are now investigating how Allie contracted her illness.
“As part of our investigations, we are looking into the family’s stay at the Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa and if any issues are identified, we hope that measures will be taken to ensure this does not happen again.”
What is STEC HUS?
- STEC HUS usually occurs after ingesting a strain of bacteria such as E.Coli.
- The first symptoms can emerge anywhere from 1 to 10 days after eating contaminated food, though usually after 3-4 days.
- These symptoms can include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, mild fever and vomiting.
- Children have more GB3 receptors than adults and can therefore be more susceptive to HUS.
- The most common fiorm of ingestion is undercooked meat, unpasteurised fruits and juices, contaminated produce and contact with unchlorianted water.
- Treatment can include dialysis, steroids and blood transusions.
- The disease is rare, with 2.1 cases per 100,000 estimated in the US, mostly affecting children between 6 months and four years.
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A Jet2 spokesperson told The Sun Online: “We are very sorry to hear about these tragic circumstances, and we would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Ms. Dawson and her family at this very difficult time.
“As lawyers have been instructed, it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment.”
The Sun Online has also approached the Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa for a comment.
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