Merseyside Woman Hospitalised After Travelling To Mexico Subsequently Tested Positive for Salmonella And Dysentery
A Merseyside NHS worker has asked lawyers to investigate after severe gastric illness left her “screaming with pain” and hospitalised during her 60th birthday celebrations in Mexico.
Wendy Brown, from Merseyside, travelled to the five-star Barcelo Maya Grand Resort in Riviera Maya in Cancun with her husband Nigel, aged 68, in May of this year. The two-week holiday was booked through tour operator TUI UK Ltd for Wendy’s birthday.
Around half-way through the couple’s trip, Wendy fell seriously ill with gastric symptoms including abdominal cramps and diarrhoea. She was hospitalised while abroad and placed on a drip.
Wendy asks lawyers to investigate after she's diagnosed with salmonella and dysentery
Following tests in the hospital abroad she tested positive for entamoeba histolytica – an intestinal infection more commonly known as dysentery. On her return home Wendy discovered she also tested positive for salmonella, a serious bacterial infection.
Wendy has now instructed international serious injury experts at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her illness.
Expert Opinion“Wendy was really looking forward to celebrating her birthday in Mexico with Nigel and was devastated when she fell ill.
“The first-hand account of her symptoms and subsequent confirmed diagnoses during her holiday and on her return to the UK are very concerning.
“The effects of gastric illness are serious and should never be downplayed, with some people going on to develop long-term health problems.
“Understandably Wendy has many questions over how she fell ill and we’re now looking into these. If during the course of our investigation, any issues are identified, it’s vital that lessons are learned to help prevent future holidaymakers from suffering illness.
"If you also stayed at this resort and think that you can help with our enquiries into the issues faced by the Browns, we would like to hear from you.” Sarita Sharma
Holiday illness: Wendy Brown's story
The holiday took place between 5 and 19 May, 2023.
On 12 May, Wendy began to feel achy and shivery. By that evening, she was suffering from diarrhoea and complaining of abdominal pain.
On 15 May Wendy was seen by a doctor at the resort. She was taken to hospital, where she underwent various tests and a CT scan due to passing a lot of blood. She was told she had an infection - entamoeba histolytica - and an inflamed colon, and was put on a drip.
She remained in hospital until the day before the couple’s departure date and took various medications to help her get through the flight home.
Wendy saw her GP on her return home from the holiday, where another sample was taken. She found that she had salmonella poisoning as well. She had time off work due to her ongoing symptoms.
Merseyside woman Wendy reveals impact of illness
Wendy said: “Both Nigel and I were excited to be going to Mexico to celebrate my 60th but it was completely ruined when I fell ill.
“At first, I thought I might have had too much sun, but it became clear quite quickly that it was something else. The symptoms got worse and worse to the point that I was screaming with pain. I remember telling Nigel at one point that I felt like I was going to die.
“I ended up in hospital for the rest of the holiday and it was truly awful, I was so frightened of what would happen to me. Nigel stayed with me the majority of the time, so the rest of the holiday was pretty much written off for both of us.
“I was told whilst in hospital in Mexico that I tested positive for the infection entamoeba histolytica. To then be told by my GP I had salmonella as well as an intestinal infection was shocking. I couldn’t believe I’d gone on holiday and returned home with two serious illnesses.
“However, when I think back, I can recall that the restaurant conditions weren’t really what you’d expect from a five-star resort. I remember most of the food was left uncovered for long periods of time. A lot of the meat was reheated, but some pieces were still raw in the middle, and the same utensils were used across various serving plates. There was also bird faeces on the tables.
“I’ve been home over a month now and I’m still not better. While I can’t change what’s happened, I feel I deserve some answers. I wouldn’t have wished what I went through on anyone.”