A MAN who almost lost his life after he contracted E. coli is hoping to launch a new campaign that will protect beach-goers from suffering the same ordeal.
Clive Roberts, of Sompting Road in Lancing, is trying to encourage residents to shower after using the beach to avoid bacterial infections.
The 62-year-old was taken to hospital in Worthing after he returned from a trip to Mexico with his wife.
“I had a multi-organ failure and it was down to E. coli plus two unrecognisable bacterial diseases,” said Mr Roberts.
After spending a few weeks in Worthing Hospital’s intensive therapy unit, Mr Roberts was transferred to Royal Sussex County Hospital’s kidney dialysis unit, in Brighton.
He said: “The consultant said someone could have given me a meal after using the toilet and didn’t wash their hands. I just don’t know.”
Mr Roberts said he is also an avid windsurfer, sailor, canoeist and snorkler.
“I learnt that it’s the same scenario when going into the sea. I don’t want any child or person to go through what I went through.”
Although Mr Roberts cannot confirm where he contracted the infections, he believes that people who use the beach are at great risk if they do not shower afterwards.
Whilst in hospital, the father-of-two decided to create a poster that would advise beach-users to wash their hands with clean water or hand gel after using the sand or swimming in the sea.
“I showed it to Adur District Council and Lancing Parish Council. They think it’s a great idea,” he said.
Mr Roberts hopes that his campaign, which he wants to extent to Worthing beach, will help introduce public shower facilities for residents, particularly kite surfers, who frequent Lancing waters.
He said: “If you don’t shower after coming out of the sea you’re going to expose yourself to E. coli.”
Mr Roberts is currently appealing for someone to help recreate his hand-drawn poster on a computer. If you can help, call him on 01903 765348.
“I would also like to thank Worthing Hospital and Royal Sussex County Hospital for saving my life,” he added.