No answers for grieving widow

A WIDOW whose husband died from Legionnaires' disease today told of her frustration after a probe into his illness failed to uncover the source.

Josh Warwick

A WIDOW whose husband died from Legionnaires' disease today told of her frustration after a probe into his illness failed to uncover the source.

Astrid Tricker persuaded the public health authorities to launch a full-scale investigation after watching in horror as husband Brian succumbed to the rare ailment in October.

But today she revealed that her bid to trace where and how the 66-year-old contracted the disease had reached a dead end.

Mrs Tricker, of Nelson Road, Ipswich, said: “Environmental health and the Health Protection Agency called me to say they had been unable to find out how Brian caught the illness.

“I had hoped to find out to prevent it from happening again but now I have had to bury the whole matter.

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“It was heartbreaking to see my husband die, but finding out what happened to Brian would have helped me draw a line under it.

“It's hard, but there's absolutely nothing I can do now.”

Mrs Tricker, a healthcare assistant, pushed for the investigation after previously revealing how Health Protection Agency officials had contacted her only once after her husband was first diagnosed.

Mr Tricker came down with flu-like symptoms towards the end of August and was eventually admitted to Ipswich Hospital.

So rapid and severe was the deterioration of his health that within days he had been transferred to the hospital's critical care unit.

At one point his heart stopped and soon after Mr Tricker, a security guard, suffered multi-organ failure.

After less than a week in hospital, doctors were able to diagnose Legionnaire's disease, a rare and deadly form of pneumonia contracted by inhaling small droplets of water suspended in the air which contain legionella pneumophilia bacteria.

Mrs Tricker, who is originally from Frankfurt in Germany, said: “He was determined to fight that's exactly what he did, but in the end he had no more strength to fight.

“I work in the profession and I have never seen someone go downhill so fast.”

Do you have a message of support for the Tricker family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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