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Family fear for toddler’s life after he eats seagull droppings

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Jaydon Pritchard, who is 18 months old, was rushed to hospital days after ingesting the mess when playing outside. His worried family say the tot is “still not out of the woods” completely.

Speaking to North Wales Live, the boy’s grandfather Arwel Pritchard said: “He was having a fit, so we called for an ambulance straight away.

“He had another fit before the ambulance arrived and another three fits on the way to the hospital. It was like he was looking through you. He didn’t recognise anyone.

“There was a point where we really thought we were going to lose him. It was horrific.”

Jaydon’s family took him to Ysbyty Gwynedd, a general hospital in Anglesey, north Wales, when he became unwell. He was discharged after his family were told that he was suffering from a “virus”.

But his grandfather said Jaydon “didn’t do anything apart from sleep and be sick” the next day until later on in the evening, when they heard a “horrible noise coming from his cot”.

He was eventually sent to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. He was hooked up to a dialysis machine and received three blood transfusions during his 19-day stay there.

He had another fit before the ambulance arrived and another three fits on the way to the hospital. It was like he was looking through you. He didn’t recognise anyone

Arwel Pritchard, the boy’s grandfather

“The doctors diagnosed him with kidney failure and told us that he had e. coli poisoning from having ingested the seagull faeces,” said Mr Pritchard.

“We were fearing the worst at the time, seeing his little body hooked up to the dialysis machine and his face turned yellow.”

The ordeal has been “traumatising” for the family, although Jaydon is doing “much better now than what he was a couple of weeks ago”.

His grandmother said she was “apprehensive” over leaving him in the garden again.

Ms Pritchard, who with her partner and daughter Tiffany look after Jaydon, said: “I clean the patio every day, but it’s difficult because the seagulls are nesting nearby and it’s a constant mess to clean up.

“Poor Jaydon is on all sorts of medications now, we just hope that he’s not suffered any permanent issues. He’s still not himself, he’s still quite grey, but he’s getting there slowly.

“Young children are constantly putting things in their mouth and we hope that this ordeal can serve as reminder for parents and guardians to make sure that their children are playing in a safe environment, particularly when they’re outside.”

The toddler now faces a series of visits to the doctor over the coming weeks before he is taken to Alder Hey again for another check-up.

The ordeal comes after the Daily Express campaigned last year for councils and businesses to have more power to try to keep seagulls away.

Until last year, town and city councils across the UK tried to reduce their burgeoning gull populations by removing eggs and nests but this summer even that has come to a grinding halt thanks to a tightening of gull control licencing. This was initiated by the legal action of Wild Justice activists last year — the group including TV ornithologist Chris Packham.

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