Irwin Mitchell Investigating Guillain-Barré Syndrome Diagnosis Following Glastonbury Festival Illness

Specialist Illness Lawyers Investigating Cause Of Woman’s Illness Which Led To Nervous System Condition

26.06.2015

A woman diagnosed with a rare condition that affects the nervous system after suffering gastric illness at the Glastonbury Festival in 2014 has instructed specialist public health lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of her illness and on-going condition.

Stephanie Hartley, 26, from Brixton, South-West London, attended the festival with friends in June 2014, but after four days at the festival she began to suffer with diarrhoea and stomach cramps after eating food from vendors on site.

Her symptoms continued when she returned home and she was later admitted to hospital after suffering with severe weakness in her legs, arms and face.

Stephanie underwent a number of tests which confirmed the presence of Campylobacter – a bacterium which commonly causes food poisoning. Doctors also confirmed she was suffering from Guillain-Barré
Syndrome, a rare condition which affects the nervous system, that can be triggered by viral or bacterial infections.

After her diagnosis she spent three months at St Thomas’ Hospital, before being transferred to the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, where she spent a further two months.

She was forced to take seven months away from her work as a Marketing Manager and continues to suffer with limited mobility, due to muscle weakness in her legs, feet and hands.

Stephanie undergoes regular physical therapy sessions, but still relies on her family and friends to help her with a number of day-to-day tasks.

Amandeep Dhillon, a Partner and specialist public health lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Stephanie, said: 

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“This case illustrates the significant consequences that can arise from food poisoning, gastric illnesses and infections.

“The festival was supposed to be a time of excitement and fun for Stephanie, but the Guillain-Barrẻ Syndrome has had a huge impact on her day-to-day life and she relies on family and friends to help her with a number of tasks. We are now investigating the cause of her illness and the long-term impact it has had on her life with the aim of providing her with the answers she needs about how she fell ill.

“The ultimate aim is to help Stephanie secure the funds that will enable her to continue to access the help and support she needs to aid her recovery and begin to get her life back on track and put this ordeal behind her.

“As we conduct our investigations we ask anyone who also contracted Campylobacter or other form of food poisoning after eating food at the festival in 2014 to get in contact with us as they may be able to help with the case.”
Amandeep Dhillon, Partner

Stephanie said: “I had been looking forward to the festival for months and it was completely ruined. I was incredibly upset, but was beginning to put the disappointment behind me when I was admitted to hospital and told the illness may have triggered Guillain-Barrẻ Syndrome.

“I spent five months in hospital and had to take seven months off work to recover. I still suffer with limited mobility and both my work and home life are not what they were. I have always been very independent, but I now rely on people all the time and my social life has suffered as I can’t just get up and go out as I used to.

“At 26 I’m still a young person, but I can’t help but feel that what should be a fun time in my life has been taken away from me by the illness I suffered and the long-term impact it has had on me. I constantly worry that I will never fully recover from the condition and function as I used to before Glastonbury.

“I have instructed Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of my illness and hope that they will find the answers I need, which will hopefully prevent others from going through the same thing I have in the last year.”