A young girl is in hospital after a family holiday turned into a fight for life.
Emily Bridges, 10, fell ill after contracting the bacterial disease E.coli while visiting Hurghada, Egypt.
Her symptoms began on day five of the week-long trip with diarrhoea and sickness.
But it was initially diagnosed as gastroenteritis by the hotel doctor.
However, the youngster was rushed to St Thomas’s Hospital, Westminster, when her vital organs started to shut down just 24 hours after landing back in the UK.
Mum Rachel, 43, said: “We initially put it down to a dodgy belly while we were there - it was only when we were home, I took her to the hospital expecting to get a prescription and a doctor told me she was very sick.”
Emily was diagnosed with hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a condition which causes kidneys to fail and the body to destroy red blood cells.
The Queenborough Primary School pupil’s condition worsened and she spent a week placed on life support.
Rachel added: “I lost my husband to cancer six-years-ago, so I’m a strong person but it’s a completely different kettle of fish when it’s your baby. You feel so helpless - I wasn’t sure if I’d ever bring her home.”
The youngster is getting better but currently spends 16-hours a day on dialysis and receives a £12,000 drug to stop her immune system attacking her body.
She may also need a transplant in the future because of the severity of the damage to her kidneys.
Yet, despite the life-threatening illness, Rachel remains optimistic about her daughter’s recovery.
“It has been such a traumatic experience and a lot for a 10-year-old to deal with.
“But she’s strong and stubborn like me so I know she’ll pull through because she’s a fighter.”
Family friend Jayne Russon put an appeal on Facebook and started a crowd-funding campaign to help cover Rachel’s expenses.
She’s vowed to help the youngster beat the illness.
More than £375 has already been raised and will go towards food and travel expenses with Emily facing months of treatment.
The 42-year-old, of Drake Avenue, Minster, said: “I was overwhelmed by it when I got up and saw the response, it was just incredible.
“I’ve known Rachel for more than 30 years, so wanted to help her in anyway I possibly can.
“If we could raise £300 in 24-hours, imagine what we could do in a week?”
To donate visit the gofundme page.