Toddlers Hospitalised After Contracting E.Coli Following Spanish Family Holiday

Distraught Parents Instruct International Illness Lawyers In Search for Answers

24.08.2014

A family of four who fell ‘horrifically’ ill during a Spanish summer holiday which left two young daughters in hospital, one critically ill, have instructed expert illness lawyers to investigate the conditions they faced.

The Smith family, from Bishop Auckland in County Durham, travelled to the Azuline, Coral Beach resort in Ibiza in June, but say the trip turned into every family’s ‘worst nightmare’ when all of them fell ill and two-year-old daughters Olivia and Hannah were hospitalised for days as they battled E.Coli. Dad, Stuart, was also diagnosed with having contracted the bacteria.

The toddlers have now been diagnosed with haemolytic uraemia syndrome – a condition related to E.Coli which can cause kidney failure due to a breakdown of red blood cells – and distraught parents Stuart and Nicola have instructed expert international illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate what caused them to fall ill and to help secure their daughters funds for on-going treatment.

To make matters worse, Stuart was made redundant on his return from his job as a production worker in manufacturing, as he took time off to care for his daughters, which affected his redundancy score negatively. 

Clare Pearson, a specialist International Personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell who has now contacted Jet2.com to notify the tour operator that legal action is being considered said: “The Smith family suffered a horrible ordeal on their holiday which became so serious for Olivia and Hannah that they were admitted to hospital on their return to the UK because of the severity of their condition.

“The family will not know whether there has been any significant lasting damage caused until next year which will understandably be an agonising wait for them all.

“E.Coli is a bacteria which can be contracted by eating contaminated food such as raw unwashed vegetables and undercooked meat, but following good food hygiene standards can prevent it from spreading.

“We are now investigating whether more could have been done to prevent the family from falling so ill and hope that Jet2.com will work with us quickly and amicably so we can complete out investigations for the family.” 

The family arrived at the three-star Azuline resort on 1 June for an 11 day break, but within days all of them began suffering from symptoms of sickness, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Stuart, Olivia and Hannah were all diagnosed as suffering with E.coli 0157 on their return and the girls symptoms were so severe that they were admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle. Olivia, who was two in July, was discharged after six days but Hannah, who turns three at the end of the month, spent 21 days in hospital and needed dialysis to help her kidneys function properly.

Stuart, 38, said: “The last few weeks have been like our worst nightmare coming to life as we have had to watch our little girls fight for their lives in hospital.

“The last thing we imagined was that we would all fall so horrifically ill. We did notice that some of the food that should have been chilled was left at room temperature and some of it was undercooked, but we tried to be as careful as possible.

“The worst thing now is not knowing whether the girls have been left with permanent kidney problems as a result. We just cannot believe how going on holiday has turned all of our lives upside down.

“I lost my job and Nicola is a housewife so on top of our worries about the girls, we are also concerned about what the future will hold for us financially.

“We just want answers about what caused the illness and to know that if hygiene failings are found, steps are taken to rectify them and prevent anyone else suffering in the same horrible way as we have.”


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