‘We thought we’d lose our children’ in grim fight with E.coli

Worried parents have spoken of their E.coli nightmare after their young daughter was left fighting for life and her brother was also struck down within days of each other.

As concern grows in Europe following the recent confirmed outbreak in Germany, the Payne family gave their own insight into the effects of the illness.

Leah Payne, two, and her three-year-old brother Joshua ended up in neighbouring hospital beds after being hit by the potentially fatal virus over three weeks ago.

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Leah was left fighting for her life in intensive care when the HUS strain of the bug caused her kidneys to fail, and days later her older brother ended up in hospital with a less serious strain.

The pair are now recovering at home – but dad Steve, 30, has spoken of his and partner Laura’s nightmare as they feared they could lose their children to E.coli.

Steve, of Market Weighton, said: “We thought we were going to lose both of them. We want people to realise how dangerous E.coli can be and we don’t want anyone else to go through it.

“If anyone has symptoms then they should go and see their GP.”

The horror began when Leah began feeling sick and ended up at York District Hospital where a doctor suspected E.coli.

Her condition deteriorated quickly and in two days she was battling to stay alive in intensive care at Leeds General Infirmary suffering from kidney failure, on a dialysis machine and with low blood sodium levels. It was then that Joshua was admitted to the same hospital with a similar, but less serious infection.

He was allowed to leave hospital after a week, though his sister was detailed for a further three weeks.

The cause of the infection is not thought to be related to the recent outbreak in Germany but a source has not been identified.