A toddler who died after contracting a tummy bug while on holiday in Turkey had a unique strain of E.Coli which originated from the country, an inquest has heard.
Little Allie Birchall, two, was struck down with a bacterial infection and developed complications after staying at the five-star Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa in Antalya.
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.
An inquest into her death ruled that Allie, of Atherton, Wigan, had a unique strain of E.Coli which originated from Turkey.
However, Manchester Coroners Court heard it was not possible to say how she contracted the bacteria and the coroner concluded her death was from natural causes.
Allie’s mum Katie, 36, said she was ‘grateful’ to have some answers and hoped that no other family would suffer like hers.
Speaking after the inquest on Wednesday, she 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.
“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 cruellest way possible. Her death 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.”
Allie was rushed to hospital with stomach cramps and diarrhoea after returning from a 10-day break at Antalya’s Crystal Sunset Luxury Resort and Spa in July 2019. She was diagnosed with Shiga-Toxin producing E.Coli (STEC).
She then developed Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS), a potentially fatal blood condition linked to STEC which can lead to kidney failure and brain damage.
She tragically died on 3 August and a post mortem found her cause of death was brain damage and other complications associated with HUS and STEC.
Jatinder Paul, the senior associate solicitor at Irwin Mitchell representing Allie’s family, 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.
“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.”
The inquest heard that Allie’s family all fell ill during their holiday, which was booked through tour operator Jet2Holidays.
Allie’s symptoms started on 27 July, three days after they returned home.
After she was diagnosed with STEC, Allie was put into an induced coma on 1 August. She also developed HUS.
Allie’s family made the difficult decision to terminate her life support two days later, after an MRI scan revealed she had suffered brain damage, the inquest heard.