Sunday People



A WOMAN who fought for five years to find out why her parents suffered horrific deaths on holiday in Egypt has told how she is still traumatise­d by the tragedy.

Kelly Ormerod spoke out after a British inquest this month confirmed John and Susan Cooper were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning caused by fumes from a pesticide being used in their luxury hotel to kill bed bugs.

Yet an Egyptian probe had said the couple’s harrowing, slow deaths on a break with her in 2018 were caused by E. coli – and medics there even told her they were the result of a suicide pact.

And now, after a surge in bed bugs in the UK, shattered Kelly is warning people to call in specialist firms to deal with them rather than risking tragedy themselves, whatever the price.

The single mum-of-three, 46, said: “I still suffer from the trauma of seeing them die in such a dreadful way. Our family is broken without them.

“I’m still in so much pain over the thought their deaths could have been prevented but I’m glad we now finally have the answers.

“We’ve been given closure in the sense that we know how this happened but I don’t feel any better. It should never have happened in the first place.”

The nightmare began when Kelly and her children went with builder John, 69, and foreign exchange adviser Susan, 63, on a fortnight’s holiday to the Red Sea resort of Hurghada in August 2018, staying at the five-star Steigenber­ger Aqua Magic Hotel with friends.


Well-travelled John and Susan – married for 40 years – had visited the same hotel only a few months earlier.

Kelly said: “They were so excited to share the experience. They loved the friendly atmosphere, the cleanlines­s and the quality of the food.”

On this latest trip, the couple shared a room with granddaugh­ter Molly, who is now 18, until one night a “disgusting smell” prompted her to move to her mum’s room.

Kelly said: “I thought Molly had eaten something funny. She looked peaky but said the smell of my mum and dad’s room was making her feel sick.”

John, who walked Molly to Kelly’s room, showed no sign of illness. “Dad was fine,” she said. “I thanked him for bringing Molly, kissed him goodnight and he walked back to his room to go to sleep.”

The next day, when her parents were not on their sun loungers as usual by 8.30am, Kelly became worried.

John answered her knock but she said he was “incredibly unsteady on his feet”. She recalled: “As soon as he opened the door, I could smell vomit and he was slurring his words.

“He told me they were feeling rotten. As he walked... it was like watching a bouncy ball. He was walking in a zigzag, pushing himself off the walls.”

Her mother was in bed, covered in vomit. Terrified, Kelly and family friend Louise Clayton, 58, asked the hotel to

Doctors thought it was a suicide pact... I knew my parents wouldn’t have committed suicide

fetch a doctor. Kelly said: “It took an hour for one to arrive. Both my parents’ breathing had changed. They couldn’t support their own body weight, so were lying down.

“The doctor then called for a second medical profession­al. It was chaos. Dad wasn’t moving, he wasn’t talking, he was frozen. Mum wasn’t talking but she was groaning in pain.”

After 45 minutes and 20 attempts to cannulate John, who had a heart condition, he went into cardiac arrest and died on the hotel room’s floor.

Kelly said: “I fell into a state of shock. Dad’s eyes were open, so I kissed his forehead and closed them. My head was exploding, not knowing why or how this happened. I begged my mum to stay with me. I couldn’t lose her, too.”

Susan was eventually taken to Aseel Medical Care Hospital in Hurghada by

 ?? ?? PALLBEARER Kelly at funeral
BIG DAY Couple tie knot in 1975
TRIBUTE Kelly lays flowers in Burnley
PALLBEARER Kelly at funeral BIG DAY Couple tie knot in 1975 TRIBUTE Kelly lays flowers in Burnley

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