A 38-year-old mum-of-two has been left in a coma with serious brain damage after she fell ill after dyeing her hair.

Julie McCabe is on a life support machine in the intensive care unit at Airedale General Hospital where her family have been at her bedside every day.

Her father, Keith Miller, believes a reaction to a chemical in the hair dye caused her difficulty in breathing before her heart stopped as she was rushed to the hospital.

He said he has been warned by her medical team that she might not pull through.

Mrs McCabe, of Cowling, Keighley, was using a dark-coloured L’Oreal Preferences hair dye on October 30 before she began to feel unwell and called her husband, Russell, for help, he said.

Mr Miller, of Shipley, said: “She finished dyeing her hair and said ‘I don’t feel well I can’t breathe’, to her husband. He rushed her to hospital and her heart stopped beating on the way to hospital.

“She is in a coma. We’ve spoken to the doctors and they have more or less said to us the condition she is in now is most likely how she will stay. They are not giving us much hope, it’s hard to take in.

“She’s 38, she’s very fit, she’s not overweight. She was quite active, looked after herself, she was a bubbly character, quite a strong person.”

Mr Miller said his family had been making daily visits to the hospital to be at her bedside.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anybody. It is unbelievable,” he said.

“She is my little girl, although she’s 38. I’m concerned about her but I believe there are other people have gone into hospital with a similar complaint.”

Mrs McCabe, who works as an estate agent in Bradford, had dyed her hair regularly for several years and had used the L’Oreal product in the past, her father said. He believes she did a skin test before using the dye.

He believes a chemical called para-phenylenediamine (PPD) caused his daughter’s condition and said he wants to see an end to its usage.

He said: “The hospital have asked for the dye and the gloves she used. They have said she has suffered an allergic reaction.”

Mrs McCabe has a son Luke, 20, and a daughter Abigail, 15, who Mr Miller said were struggling to cope with what had happened.

“They’re sort of in a trance,” he said. “Their mum is there one minute and the next she’s in hospital with pipes coming out of her nose.”

Mr Miller and Mrs McCabe’s mum Brenda have been in touch with Brian Plunkett, a hair and scalp specialist, known as a trichologist.

He believes an allergy to hair dye has increased as a result of growing exposure to PPD, which was contained in the L’Oreal product used by Mrs McCabe.

Mr Plunkett, managing director of the firm Trichocare, which works to raise standards in the hair and beauty profession, said: “People who are using colour all the time build it up in their systems, it stays there for the rest of your life.”

A spokesman for L’Oreal said: “L’Oréal was extremely concerned to hear about this serious situation. -We are unable to comment further, however we will do everything we can to assist this lady’s family and medical team with information they might need to establish what happened.”