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Family hope to finally get answers three years after toddler died following family holiday

By Helena Vesty & Steven Smith

It was a family holiday that turned to tragedy. Now, three years on, the family of a two-year-old girl who died after returning from Turkey hope to finally find out why they lost her.

Allie Brenda Birchall fell ill soon after the 10-day holiday in July 2019. On August 3, she died at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.

Now, the case will go before a coroner next week as heartbroken mum Katie Dawson, from Atherton near Wigan, desperately waits for answers, reports the MEN. The review was opened by coroner Zak Golombeck at Manchester Coroners' Court in May last year.

The initial hearing included brief evidence from pathologist Dr Melanie Newbould, who gave the cause of death as encephalopathy and other complications associated with haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) due to toxins produced from E. Coli'. At the hearing, consultant microbiologist, Dr Vanya Gant, said the strain of E. Coli was 'almost certainly acquired in Turkey'. Dr Gant described it as 'a rare serotype not previously seen in the UK'.

Ian Denham, a barrister representing Allie's family, told the inquest that other family members had also fallen ill around the time of the holiday. Mr Golombeck said the scope of the inquest would be extended to look at how, when and where Allie came to be exposed to the E. Coli pathogen, and whether her death was avoidable.

On May 17, the final hearing will take place at Manchester Coroners' Court. Allie’s mum Katie, 36, said: “The past three years have been the worst of my life. I still struggle to accept that Allie has gone, as she was so full of life and such a happy little girl.

“All of us fell ill around about the time of our holiday to Turkey, but we didn’t think for one minute that it would end the way it did.

Allie with mum Katie on holiday in Turkey (SWNS)

“Our lives haven’t been the same since then and while we can’t turn back the clock and change what happened, we need answers as to why our princess was taken from us. It’s the least we deserve and we hope the inquest will provide us with these.”

Jatinder Paul, a specialist international serious injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Allie’s family, said: “It’s almost three years since Allie died and her loved ones are understandably still devastated at losing her in such a tragic way. The family were really looking forward to their holiday in Turkey, but after they returned home Allie fell ill and what they then had to go through was the worst experience of their lives.

"While we can’t change the suffering they’ve had to endure, we’re determined to help them obtain the answers they deserve and will continue to support them throughout the inquest process. If, during the course of the inquest any issues are identified, we also call for lessons to be learned.”

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Dive Deeper:
Heartbroken family still hunting for answers three years after death of toddler
"The past three years have been the worst of my life" says mother
Tragic two-year-old died after family holiday in Turkey - three years on, her heartbroken family is still searching for answers
"The past three years have been the worst of my life. I still struggle to accept that Allie has gone,…
Family of Brit tot who died after catching tummy bug at 'disgusting hotel' seek answers
Allie Birchall, two, became unwell after catching a bacterial infection and developed complications after staying at the Crystal Sunset Luxury…
Family of toddler who died of infection caught on Turkish holiday still seeking answers
Inquest into two-year-old’s death is due to take place at Manchester City Coroner’s Court on 17 May
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Nottingham hospitals 'let down' family as baby died just after 36 hours
Mum had asked for a Caesarean
Mum had 2 mins to say goodbye to baby who died as she was wrongly arrested for neglect
A devastated young mother was given just two minutes to say goodbye to her baby daughter before being wrongly arrested…
Get all your news in one place