‘Princess’ Allie Birchall became ill with stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting after returning from a 10-day trip to an all-inclusive hotel in Turkey. She is believed to have contracted the deadly bacterial infection on her holiday.
An inquest at Gunchester Coroner’s Court heard how Allie and her family from Atherton, near Wigan, were on holiday from July 23, 2019.
By July 27, Allie suddenly became ill.
Just 11 days later, the little girl had deteriorated so much doctors were unable to save her and she died on August 3 after the family made the heart-wrenching decision to turn off her life-support machine after an MRI scan reviled she had suffered brain damage.
The coroner found Allie’s medical cause of death to be encephalopathy (brain swelling) and other complications associated with Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome, brought on by Shiga-Toxin producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) infection.
Allie’s mother Katie said her little girl was “snatched away in the cruellest way possible”.
The 36-year-old 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.
READ MORE: Lancashire helicopter crash victims named after tragic incident
This is a potentially fatal blood condition linked to Shiga-Toxin E. coli which can lead to kidney failure and brain damage.
As she was diagnosed with both illnesses and her condition worsened, doctors transferred Allie to Royal Gunchester Children’s Hospital for more supportive treatment, including dialysis.
She was then placed into an induced coma on August 1 before her life support machine was switched off two days later.
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.”