Ex-Reedley man’s Legionnaires’ Disease death

Advice on how to avoid contracting Legionnaires’ disease has been issued following the death of a former Reedley man.

Thursday, 23rd January 2014, 1:27 pm
The late Mr Steven Whitehead. (s)

Steve Whitehead (59), formerly of Reedley and more latterly living in Billington, died of Legionnaires’ disease after falling ill on December 1st following a week’s holiday in Malta with his wife Sue.

Mr Whitehead, who has two children and two step-children, collapsed at his home and was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital’s intensive care unit.

He was later transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital where it was confirmed he had Legionnaires’ and, after a brave fight against the disease, died earlier this month.

“All untimely deaths such as Mr Whitehead’s are very sad, but it does highlight the need for certain people who may be more at risk of contracting Legionnaires’ Disease to be extra vigilant and aware of how they can reduce their risks,” said Eamonn Roberts, senior environmental health officer for Ribble Valley Council,

“Environmental health have done a full, detailed investigation of Mr Whitehead’s illness to try to pinpoint where he acquired the infection. We do not believe he became infected locally.”

Mr Whitehead moved to the Ribble Valley around 20 years ago.

An IT specialist at Tulketh Mill, Preston, he loved holidays with his wife Sue with the Lake District and the Isle of Man two of their favourite destinations.

The couple were looking forward to retirement and had booked a holiday to Sri Lanka in April to celebrate Steve’s 60th birthday.

They were both guide dog puppy walkers and donations in Steve’s memory have been made to Guide Dogs for the Blind.