Woman Admitted to Intensive Care After Contracting Legionnaires' Disease During Sardinian Holiday

Couple Instruct Travel Injury Experts To Investigate Conditions At Hotel Pulicinu


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

A woman who was diagnosed with legionnaires’ disease upon her return from a holiday in Sardinia, has instructed specialist international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to launch an investigation into the conditions at the hotel at which she stayed.

Patricia Pybus, 58, and her husband Roger, 59, from Northallerton, North Yorkshire, travelled to Sardinia last August for a luxury break at the Hotel Pulicinu.

On the fifth day of their holiday at the four-star hotel, which they booked through Travel Counsellors, Patricia started feeling unwell and began feeling feverish and lethargic with stomach cramps, nausea, headaches and diarrhoea. 

At first Patricia, a waitress in Betty’s Tea Rooms, thought she was simply under the weather but her condition continued to deteriorate and she began to also suffer with a persistent cough and chest pains.

Shortly following her return to the UK, on September 6, she was admitted to the intensive care unit of Friarage Hospital, North Yorkshire, where she was diagnosed with pneumonia which the hospital confirmed was caused by Legionella Pneumophila.

Patricia was heavily sedated in the intensive care unit for the first two weeks and was forced to undergo a tracheotomy. Patricia spent nine weeks in total in the intensive care unit and thankfully she is now back at home with her husband, Roger. She continues to suffer the side effects of the illness such as shortness of breath, meaning that she continues to find it difficult to even walk up the stairs.

She still remains unable to return to work due to the severity of her symptoms and is reliant upon her husband for day-to-day tasks.

The couple claim that conditions in their hotel room were substandard and that they noticed that the air conditioning unit was rusty, continuously dripping with water and that the automatic louvres on the unit were not working properly. They reported that the showers were old and dated and that the room generally smelled musty and looked as if it had not been used for several weeks.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria and usually develops after breathing in small droplets of contaminated water.

The holidaymakers have now instructed expert lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the problems they suffered at the Hotel Pulicinu to help them find answers about what caused Patricia to develop such a life-threatening illness.

“This case highlights just how serious legionnaires’ disease is and the potential for victims’ lives to be put at risk.

“Thankfully in this case Patricia is now recovering and continues to do so, but this does not take away from the fact that their holiday to Sardinia was ruined and Patricia’s health was seriously compromised, leaving her in intensive care for nine weeks. They deserve answers about what caused this serious illness.

“Patricia is still experiencing symptoms as a result of her illness which demonstrates the potential complications that can arise as a result. We have begun our own investigations into how Patricia contracted legionnaires’ disease in order to provide Patricia with the answers she deserves.

“The couple believe other people were ill at the hotel and are asking anyone who stayed there last summer to contact us as they may be able to help us with our inquiries.”

Patricia added: “At first we just thought it was a simple case of sunstroke but it became clear very quickly that things were much worse than that.

“I have lost months of my life from being in intensive care, not to mention the distress and anxiety my family were put through, not knowing if I would ever come round from it.

“We have been to hell and back as a result of my illness and I want to do everything possible to prevent anyone else going through the same experience which we have been through.”