Woman dies after contracting dysentery on holiday

A YOUNG businesswoman from Essex died whilst she was on holiday in Kenya after she contracted dysentery, an inquest heard yesterday.

Sophie Rayner was enjoying a stay in Kenya when she fell ill and was taken to hospital in Mombassa in February.

The 31-year-old from Braintree was then transferred to hospital in Nairobi where she died on March 3 and her cause of death was initially uncertain.

However, Essex Coroner’s Court in Chelmsford yesterday heard that a post-mortem showed Mrs Rayner, who lived in Heycroft Drive, had suffered multiple organ failure.

Professor Sebastian Lucas – an expert in tropical diseases who has spent time researching in Africa – carried out a post mortem at St Thomas’ Hospital in London and said the organ failure had been caused by probable bacillary dysentery.


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Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict that Mrs Rayner, who was married, had died from natural causes.

Mrs Rayner ran the Cressing-based company A New Broom Sweeps Clean Ltd, providing domestic and commercial cleaning services.

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According to her Facebook page the former St Helena Romanes pupil had run the company since 2007 and said she was married to Sean Rayner.

She quoted her favourite saying as: “Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you’ve never been hurt and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”

Last night the Foreign Office said anyone thinking of travelling to Kenya should check their website for advice about precautions to take with food and drink when out there.

For more details and travel guidance go to www.fco.gov.uk.

Mr Rayner was not available for comment last night.

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