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Holiday Illness Left Parents Fearing For Safety Of Unborn Child

Dominican Republic Holiday Ruined By Gastric Illness


A mum from Belfast has spoken of her fear for her unborn baby after she suffered severe gastric illness while on holiday in the Dominican Republic.

Amanda Stewart learned she was pregnant just days after returning from holiday at the Moon Palace resort. After only six days at the resort, both Amanda and husband Albert suffered severe gastric symptoms including vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.

Thankfully Amanda recently gave birth to Kaelin, a healthy baby boy. She did however have a difficult pregnancy, partly due to migraines that she has suffered since the holiday.

The Stewarts have now instructed travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to help them in their battle for justice.

Elizabeth Tetzner, a travel law expert at Irwin Mitchell who is representing the Stewarts, said, “It is totally unacceptable that this young couple were subjected to such a horrendous ordeal whilst on holiday.

“Tour operators should recognise the lasting damage severe gastric symptoms can cause people, and are responsible for ensuring the safety of their customers and must take reasonable steps to do so, and to protect any other families from suffering as the Stewarts have.”

Amanda Stewart, who had to take six weeks off work due to the severity of her illness, said: “The holiday was a complete disaster and from start to finish we couldn’t wait to get back home. We experienced a range of problems including being served meat that was often cold and undercooked. I’m sure the food in the restaurant was being reheated and served on different days too. The same kinds of food kept showing up on the buffet and were just left uncovered for hours on end. I was shocked by how many flies there were in the restaurant but the staff did nothing about them.

“The pool was disgusting too: the water was murky and dirty, and had some kind of algae growing in it. During the day, the poolside area often became littered with lots of rubbish. On several occasions I saw staff walk right past the pool without doing anything about it.

“It was three weeks of hell, and things got so bad that we wanted to come home early but were told it couldn’t be arranged. It was the worst holiday of our lives and unfortunately our nightmare continued when we came back home and I found out I was pregnant, as I was terrified by the thought that my illness could have been harming my baby.

“I started to get heavy bleeding during my pregnancy and the doctors couldn’t figure out why. I remember having blood in my stools on holiday as well

“To top it all off Albert has been diagnosed with liver problems since we got back, he doesn’t drink or smoke and we’ve been advised by the doctor that contracting a bad gastric bug can cause liver damage and he’s now waiting for more tests.

“I want Sovereign and TUI UK to tell me why they subjected me and my husband to such a disgusting place and to guarantee they won’t let this happen to any other families so we can begin to put this all behind us.”

The Stewarts were so concerned about their health that they visited the doctor at the resort. They also asked tour operator representatives for an early flight home but they were forced to see out their three week trip.

Elizabeth Tetzner of Irwin Mitchell continues: “It is totally unacceptable that what was supposed to be a relaxing holiday turned into such an ordeal for this young couple, and that as well as causing them health problems and emotional turmoil, they lost out financially too as Amanda wasn’t able to work for six weeks. 

“In today’s climate, no one can afford to take time off work through no fault of their own, especially not a young couple expecting their first child.  The fact that a holiday has caused my clients so much heartache and financial loss is totally unacceptable.

“We will now look to work with tour operators Sovereign and TUI UK - and hope that they will work with us to resolve the matter on behalf of our clients promptly and amicably. If not, then regrettably legal proceedings will follow.”