Holiday Booked To Mark Birthdays and Anniversary Turned Into 'Nightmare'
A group of 11 people from Kent, whose stay at a five-star hotel to celebrate two birthdays and a wedding anniversary was ruined by gastric illness, are part of a growing number of people to have instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their “nightmare.”
Jo Martina, 48, and her husband Emanuele Martina, 53 from Biggin Hill in Kent were among those who fell ill during a two-week all-inclusive stay at the five-star Jaz Aquamarine hotel in the Hurghada area of Egypt in July.
Jo started suffering from cramping, nausea and diarrhoea around three days into the holiday which was booked to celebrate her and her husband’s birthday which were on the same day. The date is also their 21st wedding anniversary.
As other members of the group started to complain of being unwell with similar symptoms, Jo said she was forced to spend her birthday and anniversary ill in bed.
Upon her return home, Jo, a dog trainer, went to see her GP in relation to her ongoing gastric symptoms.
Jo, Emanuele and their fellow holidaymakers have now instructed specialist international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their experiences and establish what caused their illness. This comes against the backdrop of Public Health England issuing advice to anyone travelling to Egypt after a number of people, including children, returned with a serious illness caused by bacterial infections such as E. coli.
Expert Opinion"It is deeply concerning that Jo and her family and friends were struck down with gastric illness.
Through our work we often see people falling seriously ill during their holidays. This case undoubtedly highlights the huge impact that gastric illnesses can have, with Jo having to see her GP when she got back.
The group was meant to be enjoying a special holiday abroad, celebrating with loved ones. Jo, Emanuele and the others are understandably devastated that it didn’t turn out that way.
We are determined to help them gain answers regarding what caused the illness, and hope that lessons are learned, where possible, to help prevent more people suffering in this way.
The total number of holidaymakers who have instructed Irwin Mitchell as a result of gastric illness at this hotel this Summer is at 15. We would be interested to hear from anyone else who visited the Jaz Aquamarine Resort, Hurghada, Egypt at this time who also experienced gastric symptoms to assist us with our investigation.”
Amandeep Dhillon - Partner
The group’s stay at the Jaz Aquamarine, which was booked through TUI, began on 15 July, with Jo first developing gastric symptoms on 18 July – her birthday and anniversary. Shortly afterwards, Jo’s family and friends who were also on the holiday began to fall ill with similar symptoms of stomach cramps, diarrhoea and vomiting.
Jo said: “We were all really looking forward to our holiday as we had two birthdays and a wedding anniversary to celebrate out there but within just a few days we all started dropping like flies.
“The 18th of July is my birthday, Emanuele’s birthday and our wedding anniversary, but I had to spend much of that day in bed ill. I was devastated.
“I didn’t eat much for three or four days and we all ended up making a complaint to our rep on 25 July, who also appeared to be unwell.”
Others in the group have told of their experiences that the food seemed repetitive and sometimes undercooked, and on one occasion one of them was reportedly served chicken which appeared raw inside. In addition, they have made complaints about the general hygiene in the main buffet restaurant being poor and that the food was occasionally left uncovered for prolonged periods of time, allowing birds to pick at the uncovered dishes.
Jo told her legal team that the food at the hotel was “unimpressive.” She also had several concerns regarding the cleanliness of the swimming pools at the hotel.
She recalled: “There were 17 pools, with seven main ones, and at least one of the main pools was closed for two to three hours every day because of diarrhoea in them. It was disgusting.
“Our dream holiday turned into a complete nightmare, I even had to see my GP when I got back to the UK as I was still feeling unwell and have been prescribed with antibiotics as I was told that I had a secondary lung infection from the gastric illness. I am still waiting on my results from further tests done by my GP, but I hope it is nothing too serious.
“None of us expected something like this to happen, especially for all of us to be ill. Our trip was ruined and we just hope that we can now find the answers we are seeking as to what caused it.”
The legal experts at Irwin Mitchell have vast experience of providing advice and support to thousands of people who have suffered injury and illness during holidays, helping them to access vital financial support to aid their recovery in the process. The team have recovered millions of pounds from tour operators including representing over 600 people who fell ill at the Holiday Village in Turkey over successive years between 2009 and 2014, and over 1,000 fell who fell ill following holidays at the Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic in 2007. The firm also notably acts for over 45 holidaymakers who suffered illness at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel also in Hurghada, Egypt in the summer of last year.
Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling holiday illness cases