North East Wales

Wrexham E. coli victim calls for tougher controls

Karen Morrisroe, from Wrexham, with son Oliver and husband Paul
Image caption Karen Morrisroe says she has made a "miraculous" recovery

A woman who nearly died from E. coli 12 months ago has called for tighter regulations to control the infection.

Karen Morrisroe, 33, from Wrexham, contracted the bug in July 2009, 10 weeks after giving birth, and spent five weeks on "death's door" in a coma.

Now almost fully recovered, she says UK E. coli rates are "disgusting".

Meanwhile, Wrexham council said the outbreak, thought to have been linked to a chip shop in Llay, was still under investigation.

The Llay Fish Bar was identified as the likely source of the E. coli O157 outbreak, which is known to have affected four people.

It was given permission to reopen in September 2009, and now operates under new ownership.

Ms Morrisroe said she could not spend every day thinking about the investigation, adding: "I have got to move on. I've got to get on with my life."

However, she said the UK's E. coli rates - Scotland has the highest in the world - were "disgusting".

Asked what she wanted to be done, she said: "More regulations, tightening up of the existing regulations.

Image caption Ms Morrisroe is thankful she did not miss more of Oliver's early development

"You're never going to stop it but at least you can minimise it".

Ms Morrisroe, a librarian in Wrexham, gave birth to her first child, Oliver, just 10 weeks before she was taken ill.

She said: "If it had to have happened to me, I'm just glad it happened when it did.

"If it had happened now then I would miss so much of Olly's life.

"I've only missed two-and-a-half months and he was 10 weeks old at the time.

"I haven't missed an awful lot of his development. Because he's a year old I think it would affect him much, much more now.

"It affected me much more than it affected him."

Describing how she suffered kidney failure and septicaemia a year ago, she said her family had been told to prepare for the worst.

"I was on death's door really, for quite a few weeks. I needed several blood transfusions, plasma, kidney dialysis for many many weeks," she said.

Now back at work full time, she said her muscles were still slightly weak, and her voice had been affected by the coma, but otherwise she had made a quick and "miraculous" recovery.

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