Donna Chatfield, 40, fell ill during a two-week break at the Jaz Aquamarine resort in Hurghada, Egypt, in August 2017 has now been handed a payout by tour operator Tui
Image: Irwin Mitchell / SWNS)
A mum who tried to leave a holiday “nightmare” early after contracting a “horrific” illness has been handed a payout by tour operator Tui.
Donna Chatfield, 40, fell ill during a two-week break at the Jaz Aquamarine resort in Hurghada, Egypt, in August 2017.
She sought medical attention abroad and when she returned to the UK – and has subsequently been diagnosed with post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome.
Donna, from Huddersfield, believes she caught the gastric illness from food and drink at the hotel, where she was staying with her partner and daughter.
Tui has paid £60,000 to families who sued them after taking ill during a stay at the resort between July and August 2017.
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Lawyers representing 17 people fought for the compensation claim after they reported severe gastric illness symptoms, including diarrhoea, abdominal pains and headaches.
Donna, a probation services officer, said: “The illness was just horrific. We even tried to get an earlier flight home as we felt so unwell, but this was not permitted.
“This was the first time we had been this far abroad on holiday as a family, but it was just a nightmare.
“We spent most of our time in the room and didn’t get to enjoy the experience at all.
“Holidays are what I go to work for and this is the only one I’ve ever wanted to come home from. It was awful and I wouldn’t wish our experience on my worst enemy.”
David Long, 40, also stayed at Jaz Aquamarine in August 2017 with his children Esme, five, and Jacob, nine.
All three of them developed illness symptoms including diarrhoea and abdominal pains, and they all needed medical attention abroad.
David, a software engineer, from Bristol, said: “It was an incredibly stressful time. While being ill was awful, it was particularly hard to see how it affected the kids.
“I’d been working away from home all year and wanted to make some real memories with my family, but the holiday proved to be memorable for all the wrong reasons.
“It genuinely feels like I paid a lot of money and then fell ill and that does not seem right. We got zero enjoyment from the holiday.
“We know nothing can make up for what happened to us but I want to ensure this will not happen to anyone else.”
Lawyers from Irwin Mitchell secured the compensation for families who had suffered illnesses at the popular resort, which boasts 17 swimming pools and a private beach.
Hannah Clifford, illness lawyer at the firm said: “The first-hand accounts we’ve heard from families about how their holidays were ruined highlight the significant and lasting impact that gastric illnesses can have.
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“These families saw their precious time abroad turned upside down by these problems, while some are continuing to suffer with ongoing issues as well.
“While nothing will change what has happened, we’re pleased to have secured these holidaymakers the compensation they deserve albeit without any admission of liability from TUI.
“It’s also vital that, where possible, lessons are learned from these types of cases so others don’t suffer similar issues in the future.
“The health and safety of holidaymakers should always come first at resorts.”
A spokesman for Tui said: “We were very sorry to hear that some of our customers became unwell while on holiday in Egypt, and are pleased we’ve been able to settle this with them.
“We’d like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of our hotels in respect of health and safety, including hygiene.”