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Middlesbrough Man Forced To Learn To Walk Again After Being Struck Down By Illness On Holiday

Husband Diagnosed With Rare Condition following Cyprus Coach Trip

09.05.2019

Emma Bolton, Press Officer | +44 (0)114 294 7843

A Middlesbrough man who is learning to walk again after falling seriously ill during a coach tour in Cyprus has called on legal experts to help him gain answers and justice regarding his ‘nightmare’.

Charles Jackson, 66, from Stainton, started to suffer from symptoms including diarrhoea and fatigue a few days into his trip to the island at the start of December, where he stayed at the Sea Life Hotel in Famagusta for the first few days of the holiday, before moving to the Bellapais Monastery Village with his wife Julie, 65.

With symptoms persisting on his return to the UK, the father-of-two saw his GP and following tests it was confirmed that Charles had developed both campylobacter and E.coli. However, matters took a dramatic turn when he then started to lose the use of his legs.

After he was admitted to James Cook Hospital on 19 December, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome – a rare condition that affects the nerves and can lead to paralysis. It can also cause difficulties swallowing and breathing and is often an extremely painful condition.

Having spent around 10 weeks in hospital, Charles, a retired fireman, has now instructed Irwin Mitchell’s specialist International Personal Injury team to investigate his illness and determine how he came to be affected by such problems.

The legal experts have vast experience of representing thousands of holidaymakers affected by illness issues at resorts and on cruise ships across the globe.

Expert Opinion
“This is a truly shocking case which highlights not only the huge impact that gastric illness issues can have on victims, but also how in some instances they can lead to even further health problems.

Charles is understandably devastated by his experiences over the past few months and is desperate to get to grips with how these problems emerged. We are determined to help him in any way we can and have already commenced our investigations into what has happened.”
Clare Pearson, Legal Executive - Associate

Charles and Julie’s trip to Cyprus, which was booked through RSD Travel Ltd, began on 1 December. The trip had been booked so the couple could spend a week exploring the cultural sights of Northern Cyprus, however only a few days into the holiday Charles started to feel unwell.

He recalled: “We were out for the day and I felt very rough so headed back to the hotel. That night I was not up to eating dinner so I went to bed. I woke up in the early hours of the morning and that was when the diarrhoea kicked in. I felt so weak, I had a nasty fall and hurt my shoulder when I got up to use the bathroom in the night. I was suffering with stomach cramps as well, it was awful.

“Once we were home I was hoping it would pass quickly but the illness continued so I phoned my GP and asked for some advice. I was asked to provide a stool sample and I couldn’t believe it when I was told I had both Campylobacter and E.coli, but then the worst part was yet to come.”

Charles started to feel tingling and pins and needles in his legs and feet, and over time he began to lose feeling in them. After collapsing at home, an ambulance was called and he was admitted to James Cooke Hospital in Middlesbrough. After arriving at hospital and having various tests, it was confirmed he had Guillain-Barré syndrome.

He said: “It has been an incredibly difficult few months and I have had to work to get the use of my hands and arms back. At one point it looked like I might have to have a tracheostomy and I might lose my voice – it was a nightmare. At the start of my illness my legs did not feel like they belonged to me and I felt trapped in my own body.

“I was due to go and see my son and grandchildren in Australia over Christmas and it has not been possible to do that because I was in hospital for 10 weeks. I am glad to be home but I am still working hard every day to try and improve the movement in my legs as it feels as though my muscles have wasted away.  I simply cannot believe how this has happened. I feel I am clearly entitled to some answers and I want to know whether this nightmare could have been avoided. My only hope is that it might prevent anyone else suffering like I have.”

Find out more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in handling holiday illness cases