Illness On Holiday In Turkey
A couple whose dream honeymoon was left in tatters after they were struck down with a gastric illness so serious it landed them both in a Turkish hospital on drips are to take legal action against tour operator Thomas Cook.
Ewan Gurr (23) and his new wife Leah (24), had meticulously planned their perfect honeymoon in July this year but, just days after they arrived, the trip took a turn for the worse when they fell ill amid ‘appalling’ conditions at the Hotel Tuana, in Side, near Antalya.
The couple from Dundee listed a catalogue of problems with the hotel, including undercooked food and rotting dairy products and a variety of animals and insects around the eating area and dirty swimming pool water. They have now instructed travel litigation experts at law firm Irwin Mitchell to investigate their claim.
Mrs Gurr describes how they suffered from acute gastroenteritis, with symptoms including diarrhoea, abdominal pains, weight loss, high temperatures and stomach cramps. Their symptoms were so bad that they were admitted to hospital for almost three days, but after spending £2,000 on hospital bills, they ran out of money and were forced to stop receiving treatment.
“We had saved up for ages because we wanted our honeymoon to be really special, but it was a complete disaster. I ended up on an IV drip in a foreign hospital, just desperate to come home. It was one of the worst experiences of my life,” said Mrs Gurr.
“The hotel was badly understaffed and we had even offered to help with the washing up. That was a mistake as we got a glimpse behind-the-scenes and saw exactly how dirty the kitchen was. The hygiene conditions were appalling.
“We didn’t even get to speak to our tour rep to complain – she was only there every other day, and when she did come after the symptoms had kicked in we were already in hospital.”
Maninder Rupal, a travel law specialist at Irwin Mitchell, said: “It is particularly devastating for a young couple who were looking forward to their honeymoon to have the experience ruined by serious illness. They found themselves virtually stranded in hospital in Turkey, having to pay for their medical expenses from their own pockets.
“Sadly this is a typical example of the kind of problems we see at so many hotels and resorts as a result of poor standards of health and hygiene conditions.
“There really is no excuse for this – basic measures can avoid gastric illness of this nature and prevent holidays such as this one from being ruined and it is a tour operator’s responsibility to ensure such standards are met.”