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26 August 2019 British father fought for his life after getting Legionnaires disease at same hotel where two UK nationals died

posted 27 Aug 2019, 06:04 by Wendy Gibbs
A British father was left fighting for his life after contracting Legionnaires' disease at the same hotel where two other guests died from the same bug.
Scot James Cooper, 59, was given just an hour to live before lapsing into a four-day coma when he returned from the Kalofer Hotel, in Bulgaria, last year. Mr Cooper slipped into a four-day coma when he returned home. He spent three weeks in hospital in Kirkcaldy after returning to Scotland with a dry cough

His wife Janet, from Dunfermline, said she told the hotel but was horrified to learn that two holidaymakers had died from the same condition after staying at the same hotel this June. Janet explained that her husband's breathing became laboured and he was diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics. Things soon took a turn a turn for the worse, and the Scottish stonemason was rushed to hospital where he lapsed into a coma. It was here he was diagnosed with sepsis and pneumonia Legionella.

Since making a full recovery, Mr Cooper said that the experience was "terrifying". He added: "One minute you’re on holiday having a great time. The next, you’re fighting for your life in hospital.”

His wife said she contacted the hotel manager to let her know. She explained: “I advised her to check the air conditioning and shower systems to hopefully avoid this happening to anyone else. She responded promptly via Facebook Messenger, shocked at my news, but also listing their alleged water cleansing routine and timetable. "She contacted me a couple of times after that, asking how James was. I was so shocked that these deaths have happened this year.”

John Cowan 43, from Hamilton, and Brian Taylor, 75, from Huddersfield, passed away within weeks of each other. Mr Taylor died on July 17 and fellow Britain Mr Cowan died on June 19 after being struck down with the disease at the same hotel.

The Kalofer hotel said they spent £23,000 on a new air conditioning system to prevent Legionnaires’ and said all tests had come back negative. Hotel spokeswoman Stanislava Petrova  said that they had “not been informed by the local health authorities about any case from last year”. She said: “From the beginning of the summer season, more than 50 samples from the guest rooms, the kitchen, the pools, the water heaters and the other parts and systems in the hotel have been tested and in all, no Legionella is found.”