A family is looking for answers after their 11-year-old girl, who contracted ecoli following a school trip to a petting farm, was left fighting for her life with kidney damage.
Megan Oldfield needed dialysis for two weeks when she got the infection a week after visiting Cruckley Animal Farm in East Yorkshire, in June 2011.
Megan still needs regular check ups on her damaged kidneys and is vulnerable to further infections throughout her life.
Her dad James, 34, a gas engineer, has spoken out about her illness for the first time in a bid to raise awareness about the effects of contracting ecoli.
He said: “Seeing my little girl fight for her life because she contracted an infection that might have been prevented was very hard to witness and something I will never forget.
“She went from perfectly healthy to being hooked up to a life saving dialysis machine in a matter of days and nothing could have prepared us for the horrific battle she would have to face.”
A Health Protection Agency (HPA) report into the farm the month after Megan’s visit found insufficient hand washing facilities for visitors.
The owners of the attraction - which closed permanently later the same year - deny responsibility.
Megan’s family has now instructed specialist solicitors Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of her illness.
Amandeep Samra, a specialist illness lawyer, said: “E-coli is a very serious infection, which can have a debilitating long term impact for anyone who contracts it.
“Unfortunately Megan is now at an increased risk of developing long term kidney problems and it is expected she will show a decline in kidney function in adolescence.”
The firm received details of the HPA report which was commissioned when it was notified of “six cases (five primary and one secondary) of E-coli 0157 with possible links to Cruckley Animal Farm between 7th and 18th July 2011.”
It stated: “Two improvement notices were issued which required (a) improved segregation of visitors from animals and increased number of hand washing facilities with hot and cold running water, (b) improved provision of information to visitors.”
The report confirmed there was strong evidence the farm was the source of the infection as “it was the single common link identified in all six cases”.