Mum’s Concern Over Severe Illness Suffered By Son And Daughter After Drinking Unpasteurised Milk
The parents of two Isle of Wight children, who developed serious gastric illness symptoms after drinking milk from a farm, have called on specialist lawyers to help them gain answers regarding their ‘nightmare’.
Natasha Brookes, 34, from Ryde, has revealed how her children Phoebe and Reilly suffered problems including diarrhoea, vomiting and abdominal pains after drinking unpasteurised milk purchased from Briddlesford Lodge Farm.
Phoebe’s symptoms were so severe that she was admitted to hospital with tests confirming she had E Coli. Both children, who were aged five and 13 at the time of their illness in September 2017, suffered symptoms for a number of months, with Phoebe continuing to suffer with gastric symptoms to this day.
A Public Health England investigation was launched following reports of the issues and it identified seven connected cases – with six of them having a link to raw milk supplied by Briddlesford Lodge Farm.
Natasha, has now instructed Irwin Mitchell’s specialist Public Health team to investigate what her children, now aged 7 and 15 respectively, have been through. She has told their legal team that there were no warnings on the bottles to suggest that the milk was not suitable for young children to drink.
Jennifer Hodgson, the Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell who is representing the family, said: “The family are understandably devastated by the problems that Reilly and Phoebe have had to endure, with their symptoms having a major impact on the health of the children.
“There are Food Standards Agency hygiene regulations in place to protect the public which state that any raw milk, sold to the public, must be from healthy animals and from a farm that complies with routine inspections and that it is labelled with appropriate health warnings.
“More than two years on, Natasha’s concerns about her children’s’ wellbeing following their visit to Briddlesford Lodge Farm, continues to disrupt her daily life. The family still have a number of concerns about what happened and we are we are continuing to investigate the issues they faced.
“We are aiming to raise awareness with regards to the issues observed throughout our work on this case, in a bid to reduce and prevent others suffering similar issues in the future.
“We would advise those with weaker immune systems, pregnant women, young children and the elderly not to consume unpasteurised dairy products. The impact of gastric illness should never be downplayed. We would be keen to hear from anyone who may have further information on the issues faced at Briddlesford Lodge Farm, who may be able to assist with our investigations.”
Natasha recalled: “The kids drank the milk in the days after we bought it and a few days later they started to suffer with symptoms. Both of them had diarrhoea, sickness and stomach pain, but Phoebe was in a particularly bad way.
“We took her into hospital and were devastated when we got news of her diagnosis. It was a huge shock.”
Natasha has revealed how Phoebe lost a noticeable amount of weight as a result of the illness, and continues to suffer from ongoing symptoms including headaches. She needed a considerable amount of time off school as a result of the illness and was not able to return to school until the end of November 2017. Additionally, Reilly’s symptoms lasted until around June 2019 and he needed around three weeks off school to cope with the illness.
Natasha added: “The whole ordeal was horrendous and it is hard to believe we are still affected now. Both of the kids are now fussy eaters and nervous of anything related to diary. They have also had confidence issues and it has all just caused massive disruption to our everyday life.
“It has been an incredibly difficult few years and we just feel that we deserve some answers regarding everything that has happened. If there were warnings or notices available at the farm about the advice concerning children drinking raw milk we wouldn’t have let the children have it. I wouldn’t want anyone else to suffer like my children have.”