Wrexham mum who beat E.coli leading awareness campaign

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A WREXHAM mum who nearly died after contracting E.coli is spearheading a major campaign to put a stop to the disease.

Karen Morrisroe, 32, was struck down by the potentially-fatal stomach bug in an outbreak in Llay last July.

She will be leading the fight to raise awareness of the illness to the Assembly in Cardiff this month, and says lessons must be learned.

Karen, who is a librarian, told the Leader yesterday: “When I contracted E.Coli I almost died – nobody should ever have to go through what I went through.”

With her in Cardiff will be Sharon Mills, the mother of 2005 victim Mason Jones from Bargoed, and they will present a report by Consumer Focus Wales on outbreaks of E.coli across the country.

Karen, of Rhosnesni, battled for her life for several weeks as a catalogue of serious complications developed as a result of the illness.

She provided an in-depth account of her experiences to Consumer Focus Wales, which has been looking into what progress has been made on each of the recommendations of the Pennington Report into a serious outbreak of E.coli in the Welsh Valleys in 2005.

Karen said: “The Wrexham outbreak is mentioned in it and they obviously make many conclusions and identify areas where further work in food safety can be done.

“Consumer Focus says there are many issues they are aware of that are not part of this report – as they were not part of the Pennington Report – so they are considering doing further work themselves.

“Consumer Focus Wales has statutory powers so is quite an important group to be able to influence change.

“This new report is a step on the way to ensuring that people do not have to suffer like I did.”

She added: “I would say that in most cases there has been progress made on the Pennington recommendations but there are still areas which need looking at.

“For instance, it is not compulsory for those working in food preparation to have any recognised qualifications and nor is it compulsory for food premises to carry public liability insurance.

"Since I became ill with it I suppose I have become quite an authority on E.coli – I learned a lot about it very fast because I had to.

“I hope my own experiences will help other people in future.”

Now slowly regaining her strength Karen is planning to return to work in mid-April.

See full story in the Leader

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