A young mum ‘feared she would die’ when she was hospitalised with severe food poisoning after eating McDonald’s chicken nuggets.
Lily Denton bought the fast food from the Kirkstall branch in Leeds via a delivery service on September 13 – sharing the food with her family.
While eating one of the nuggets, she discovered a brown and red shape inside the chicken and suspected that ‘something was wrong with the food’ – so took a picture of her discovery.
The 23-year-old claims she soon began suffering with severe stomach cramps and vomiting, while her daughter Autumn Metcalf, three, also complained of a sore tummy.
Lily developed diarrhoea and a sore back but hoped it was just routine food poisoning, but when her condition worsened, she found herself being ‘carried into hospital’ by a friend.
She claims she was hooked up on saline drips, given antibiotics and morphine to treat her intense pain, as medics desperately tried to find the cause of her illness.
After being discharged, she then received a letter from her council’s Food and Health Team to confirm she had Campylobacter in her stool – the bacteria responsible for food poisoning.
Furious Lily has now vowed never to eat McDonald’s again – after admitting she was looking into life insurance as she feared for her life during the ordeal.
McDonald’s apologised for her experience and after reviewing photos of the nugget said they believe the shape Lily found to be a blood vessel, which naturally occurs in chicken breast.
Lily, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, said: “It was horrible. I felt I was going to die.
“I’m still on the medication daily because it’s affected me long term now.
“I am usually strong in myself, physically, and now I feel like I can’t walk, I can’t breathe. I can’t walk up the stairs.
“It’s a rare case that progressed to this. Usually it’s just bog-standard food poisoning and that’s it.
“But it’s now a month on, I’ve got breathing problems and I can’t be a full day without medication to take the pain away.
“I feel fragile now like every gust of wind will knock me over. I’m trying to get some answers as to why this has happened.
“I don’t want to eat anything. I’m scared.
“I’m not eating McDonald’s anymore. No way am I going near that stuff.”
Lily ordered a 20 Chicken McNuggets Sharebox on September 13 that she shared with her family, along with other items, when she discovered something inside one of the nuggets.
After eating the rest of her food, she soon began to feel nauseous and had stomach cramps.
Lily said: “[My family] were up a bit late that night and we ended up getting food together.
“I found a nugget with something in it so I’m guessing it was probably that. I knew something was wrong with the food.
“I knew from the get-go as soon as I ate it that I wasn’t 100 per cent.
“Afterwards it was just horrible. They got a bit poorly but what happened to me, it was weeks after. It’s still going now.
“The day after I started getting cramps. I got really bad stomach cramps.
“It was affecting all sorts – it was horrible. My daughter was telling me her tummy was hurting but I didn’t think it was anything more than a stomach bug.
“Autumn and my partner managed to get through it but I just kept on getting worse.
“I ended up getting really severe on my birthday [October 1]. I had two drinks of alcohol and because I had infected kidneys, they’d shut down on me.
“[The bacteria] had time to progress and work its way through my body.”
Lily had struggled on for more than a fortnight as she worried about who would look after her little girl.
But when the pain became unbearable ‘like contractions’, she called a friend to take her to Leeds General Infirmary on October 5.
Shortly after, she was sent in an ambulance to St James’ University Hospital, where she was given morphine and put on a saline drip. She was also given antibiotics.
Lily said: “That day, I only ate one meal and it was McDonald’s. [The illness] started from that day.
“I ate the food then it was severe cramps. I thought it was mini contractions, that’s how I could explain it.
“The pain started half an hour after and my daughter was saying her tummy hurt. I didn’t think anything of it and thought it was a bit of naff food.
“I was being sick with vomiting and diarrhoea everything I put in me for two weeks.
“Thankfully, my boyfriend’s friend came with her little girl. She picked up me and my daughter then had to carry me into the hospital, into A&E.
“I told the hospital ‘I feel like I’m getting something really severe’. I didn’t know if it was because I was due on my period and being dramatic – but I wasn’t.”
After being sent to St James’ University Hospital, Lily was hooked up to a drip, given morphine for the pain and prescribed antibiotics.
She remained in hospital for two days, while doctors ruled out other illnesses such as appendicitis and kidney stones.
As she became stronger, she was discharged [Friday] and since then, a stool sample has confirmed she had food poisoning.
Lily said: “I was crying my eyes out and I didn’t understand what was going on. I’ve never had something so serious.
“They couldn’t figure it out.
“They tested my bloods and it came back with an infection straight away. They took urine samples and that came back as a kidney infection.
“My blood was infected and they had to find out where the infection had come from. It was just so difficult.
“I told them of the food poisoning that I had but they weren’t too sure [at first], because they couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Now we know what was causing it.
“I had to have antibiotics in me. They had to blue light me from Leeds General Infirmary to St James’.
“They had to inject me with morphine because I felt like my kidneys were going to explode.
“They couldn’t work out why I was ill for three weeks. I couldn’t eat or drink.
“They sent off my stool sample and had it tested. They’d found Campylobacter in me.
“I was in hospital for this reason and that was the food I ate on that day.
“When I got that letter that the hospital had informed the city council that I had this [bacteria] – I knew it must be something severe.”
Back in the comfort of her home, Lily is still on antibiotics and is receiving treatment from her local doctor.
After her illness, she has started looking into life insurance after fearing she could have died, leaving little Autumn behind.
She has lost a stone since being unwell and admits she ‘feels like she’s barely living’.
Lily said: “Now I’m still on all the medicine. It’s painful. I got discharged six days ago [Friday].
“It’s made me think do I need life insurance now? Do I need to sort all that out for my daughter? Who’s going to take care of her?
“I’m usually down for a nap [mid-afternoon]. I’m so tired. I can’t even look after my daughter at the moment.
“There’s a chance I’ll need more medication because I don’t know what’s happening to me.
“I’m in the middle of a house move that I can’t accomplish.
“It’s knocked me on my a**e. I’ve never been this weak and I feel like I’m barely living.
“I’m scared I’m not even going to be around to look after my family. It’s so easy to just flick that switch and you’ll be gone.
“It’s taken nearly a stone off me [in total] and I’m looking poorly.”
A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Food safety and quality are of the utmost importance to us.
“We place great emphasis on quality control and follow rigorous standards in order to avoid any imperfections. We are sorry to hear about this customer’s experience on this occasion.
“As soon as we were made aware of it this week we opened an investigation at restaurant-level and have also engaged our Customer Services Team, who have confirmed that we have not had any reports of other customers having had similar experiences.
“We would encourage the customer to respond to our Customer Services Team, who will be able to provide further support.”