UK girl, 11, fighting for life in hospital as butchers supplying local school closed

An 11-year-old girl was left fighting for her life in hospital after a butchers supplying her school was closed in an E. coli O157 outbreak.

e.coli.Tia DonaldsonTia Donaldson, from Billingham, Teesside, was in a critical condition in hospital after suffering kidney failure and a series of mini strokes.

A local butchers shop, Robinson’s Butchers and Caterers, was voluntarily closed down last month after a total of 15 people in the area were affected by E. coli.

Tia’s mum Rachel Donaldson told the Teesside Gazette how Tia could be left with permanent damage after being placed on kidney dialysis and nearly suffering ruptures of her bowel and stomach.

The horrendous turn of events began when Tia was sent home from school on Friday, July 10, complaining of a stomach ache.

By Sunday, her symptoms were so severe that Rachael and Tia’s dad John, 52, took her to Stockton’s North Tees Hospital.

Rachael said after spending three days at North Tees Tia was blue-lighted to the RVI on July 15 – where Tia has been ever since.

She is now off dialysis and has seen a slight improvement in her condition.

Health protection experts from Public Health England and environmental health teams from both Stockton and County Durham councils are continuing to investigate all possible sources of the outbreak.

Robinson’s butchers agreed to close on a voluntary basis while the source is investigated.

A statement released by Northfield School and Sports College, said: “Public Health England say that the source of this outbreak is not yet known.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time