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A Little Mix superfan who waited years to see her favourite band live was gutted after falling ill and projectile vomiting throughout the whole performance.
Imogen Holmes, 7, had been buzzing to see the show at the Manchester Arena and went to Pizza Express for a bite to eat beforehand – but just an hour after leaving the restaurant, she became violently sick and spent the whole gig in the toilets.
It was the family’s first gathering since they lost their nan to cancer and Imogen’s mum Louise, cousin Gabby and auntie Teresa were all devastated it didn’t go smoothly.
Fuming Louise, 39, told Manchester Evening News her daughter has coeliac disease and said: “Minutes before the group came onstage Imogen grabbed my arm and told me she was going to be sick.
“I knew instantly she had been given food containing gluten. Within an hour of consuming the food Imogen became violently sick.
"We were stuck in the arena toilets unable to leave as she could not stop being sick. I managed to get my sister to go to the St. John Ambulance staff who gave us a sick bag so we could get her back to the hotel.”
Louise says she told Pizza Express about Imogen’s allergy and is now trying to raise awareness over the difficulties of a gluten allergy.
"Imogen was devastated and heartbroken to miss the concert, we wanted to make it as memorable for her and her cousin as possible,” she said.
“It is so important to raise awareness – it should be a human right to be able to eat without fear. It has always been a challenge for us, we can't just go into a restaurant last minute, and that whole experience has been taken away from us because of a medical necessity.”
Although there is no proven direct link between Pizza Express and Imogen’s sudden sickness, the company is investigating the claims.
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A spokesperson said: "I can confirm that this case, since the 7th is being looked into in detail in line with the company’s health and safety procedures.
"The company take matters such as this very seriously and have strict investigation protocols to deal with such incidents."
The Daily Star has contacted the restaurant chain for further comment.
- Pizza Express
- Little Mix
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