Daughter of Lancashire couple who died on holiday in Egypt vows to fight for answers

The daughter of a couple, who died on holiday in Egypt, has said she still has no answers as to what caused their deaths almost six months after the tragedy.

By Sue Plunkett
Monday, 28th January 2019, 8:17 am
Updated Monday, 28th January 2019, 9:19 am
Left, Kelly Ormerod, right John and Susan Cooper
Left, Kelly Ormerod, right John and Susan Cooper

And Kelly Ormerod, the daughter of John and Susan Cooper who died suddenly in August after becoming ill while staying in the Red Sea resort of Hurghada, has pledged to fight on to find out what happened to her parents.

She said: “It may take years and I may never get an answer but at least I will know that I have done everything I could to find out the truth.”

An inquest into the Coopers’ deaths was opened and adjourned at Preston Coroner’s Court and although post-mortem examinations have been carried out they have not been able to determine the cause of death.

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Further tests are being carried out but the results could take some time to come back.

Kelly said: “I am no nearer knowing what happened to my mum and dad than on the day they died and it is very frustrating at times and I have got the stage where I feel angry about it.

“But that is what keeps me going and motivated to get to the truth, I won’t be backing down.”

Mr Cooper (69) and his 63-year-old wife, who isoriginally from Nelson, were holidaying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel with Kelly and her three children.

When they failed to turn up for breakfast one morning Kelly went to their room where she found them both seriously ill.

Doctors were called to the room, but Mr Cooper collapsed and died. Mrs Cooper subsequently had a heart attack in an ambulance and could not be revived.

Forensic examinations carried out by authorities in Egypt reported the cause of deaths as being linked to E.coli bacteria.

But Kelly has always been doubtful about that conclusion.

Senior coroner Dr James Adeley said through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office he would be requesting all relevant reports and documentation from a long list of public bodies in Egypt and from Thomas Cook.

But he warned that requests to foreign countries “can take months, even years.’’

Kelly said that during a meeting with the Egyptian Tourism Minister Rania Al-Mashat and Peter Fankhauser who is Chief Executive of Thomas Cook in November she was given a reassurance that everything was being done to find answers.

But Kelly said she has heard nothing since adding: “I am approached by people all the time asking me what has happened and they are always surprised and cannot believe it when I tell them nothing.

“Everyone has been very supportive and I appreciate that.

“I feel it is important to keep this in the public eye.”

Kelly has also been in touch with the British Embassy in Cairo and the Foreign Office in London.

Married in 1975, the couple met at the former Hop nightclub in Burnley where John worked as a doorman.

The son of a miner, John attended St Mary’s Primary and the former Towneley High schools. He also worked as a window cleaner before going into the building trade, launching his own business, Safe As Houses, which specialised in building properties and extensions.

A keen diver, John, who was affectionately known as “Cooperman” also enjoyed pot holing and clay pigeon shooting and he shot for the England team.

A freemason, he was a member of the Abbey lodge at Whalley. Nelson born Susan was a former pupil at Walverden Infants, St John’s Primary and the former Mansfield High schools.

Susan, had worked for Thomas Cook travel agents in Burnley town centre for many years but before that she worked for Holt’s Shoes in Nelson, ATS Tyres and was the Estee Lauder representative in Debenhams, Blackburn.