Illness In Egypt
A family from Aberdeen have contacted travel law experts at Irwin Mitchell after their holiday at the Coral Sea Resort in Egypt left them suffering serious gastric illness symptoms.
The Farquhar family travelled with First Choice in October 2010 and reported their illness to the tour operator when they returned home.
They say their complaints fell on death ears so they have now contacted illness abroad specialists at Irwin Mitchell for help.
After just a couple of days at the Coral Sea Resort, Gordon Farquhar fell ill with salmonella food poisoning. Gordon’s wife Carol and son Ryan also suffered gastric illness.
Carol said: "We quickly noticed that the hotel was looking quite tired and needed updating, but it still seemed like it could be ok. When I think back now it seems like the broken facings and worn furnishings were a bit of a warning – the same lack of care seemed to run through the entire place.
“My husband became very unwell on the third day, suffering horrendous gastrointestinal symptoms – he became disoriented, feverish and weak as a kitten. The next day he was largely confirmed to his bed. I firstly went to the chemist to get some medicine to help him.
"After no improvement 24 hours later, I helped him to the doctor's surgery. The waiting room in the surgery was full of other people suffering from the same problems. The doctor confirmed that Gordon had a gastrointestinal infection and he was given an injection, but this also had no affect - Gordon could not even keep water down. The only other advice we were given was that he should try to eat lots of fruit.
"In the meantime my son Ryan and I had also become ill, though not so badly as my husband. Luckily we were all given the ok to fly back to Scotland, as we were all desperate to just get home.
"Once we were back the symptoms continued. That's when the doctor diagnosed Gordon with Salmonella – we were all shocked that his condition was so serious. He was unable to return to his work as a welder for a week and myself and Ryan were advised by the Environmental Health Authority to also stay at home to ensure we wouldn't pass any infection on.
"As if it wasn't bad enough that our holiday was hijacked by illness, we were pretty much prisoners in our own home once we got back. We lost our holiday, our health and a substantial amount of income due to illness."
On their return the family discovered that other holidaymakers had posted comments on TripAdvisor, expressing their concerns over food and hygiene at the resort.
Carol continued: "First Choice are prolonging our discomfort by digging their heels in and continually ignoring us, but we are determined to be heard. It's a disgrace that the suffering of a small family means nothing to them - big companies like this seem to think they have the right to walk all over us."
Amandeep Samra, is a solicitor at Irwin Mitchell and is representing the Farquhars. He said: "It is often an issue of David versus Goliath with such cases. The Farquhars have regularly booked their holidays through First Choice and have an excellent relationship with their local rep.
"As loyal customers they expected their concerns to be listened to and treated with respect; however having contracted serious illness on holiday, they feel that First Choice has then turned its back on them.
"Good health and hygiene procedures should eliminate the risk of Salmonella food poisoning. We will work with the Farquhars and the many other families we represent who have contracted illness on holiday to ensure that big holiday companies do not remain complacent about the health and welfare of ordinary people.
"Other guests who stayed at the Coral Sea Resort in 2007, 2008 and 2009 have contacted Irwin Mitchell with similar complaints. We hope that First Choice will cooperate with our investigations and will work with us to provide full and fair compensation to the Farquhars and our other clients."