Mum And Daughter From Southampton Among Those Who Fell Ill In Punta Cana
Holidaymakers have instructed lawyers to investigate after they were struck down with gastric illness during a ‘holiday of a lifetime’ to the Dominican Republic.
A family of 16 travelled to the five-star Grand Sirenis Resort in Punta Cana in January this year. Their holiday was booked through tour operator TUI UK Ltd in celebration of a 50th and 30th birthday.
Three in the group fell ill with gastric symptoms including stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea with the family becoming aware of other holidaymakers also suffering from similar symptoms. Some of the family also reported bed bug bites.
Leanne Dowding, 39, and her 19-year-old daughter Casey Chalk, from Hampshire, Southampton, saw a GP on their return to the UK.
They have now instructed specialist international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate their illnesses. It is not the first time that the firm has represented holidaymakers returning from the Grand Sirenis Resort in Punta Cana, and have successfully concluded claims relating to the hotel in 2016, 2017 and 2018, and are currently acting for dozens who stayed at the hotel in 2019.
Expert Opinion“Leanne and Casey had really been looking forward to their family holiday. The first-hand account we’ve heard about their illness is very concerning. Their symptoms continue to impact on them so much that they had to seek medical advice on their return to the UK.
“Gastric illness should never be downplayed and in some cases can lead to long-term health problems.
“Understandably Leanne and Casey have many questions over how they 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.
"As part of our investigations, we're also keen to hear from anyone else affected while staying at the Grand Sirenis Resort in Punta Cana.” Jatinder Paul, International Serious Injury Lawyer
The holiday took place between 14 and 28 January this year.
Leanne, a service advisor, began to feel unwell on 17 January, with vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhoea and a fever. While the vomiting eased during the holiday, the other symptoms continued.
Casey, a student, started suffering from abdominal pain, diarrhoea and nausea on 27 January. Another family member also fell ill.
Both visited their GP on their return to the UK and samples were taken with Casey being told she had an inflamed gut.
Leanne, who continues to suffer from symptoms, including stomach cramps, said: “Just three days into our holiday, we’d gone out to the theatre and I started being sick. When I got back to the hotel, I went straight to bed with stomach pain and cramping. Then the diarrhoea and sweats started.
“It totally ruined my holiday and the rest of the trip was pretty much written off for me.
“Casey and her grandfather also fell ill, and I heard of others at the resort who had complained of sickness. When I think back, I remember the restaurants smelled a bit funny, and tables were often left dirty.
“There would be flies hanging about the food and stray cats and dogs roaming about the restaurants. Fresh food would be added to containers with lukewarm food already in it and utensils were being used across all dishes whether they were raw or cooked.
“Since coming home, I’m still not 100 per cent. While I know there’s nothing I can do to change what we’ve been through, I feel we deserve some answers. It was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime for us, instead it turned into a complete nightmare.”