Mother, 36, claims her family’s £2,000 all-inclusive holiday became ‘hellish’ when her children and another British boy were hospitalised over a ‘frightening sickness bug’ outbreak at their five-star Spanish resort
- Louise Hunter from St Helens says she and her son, Oscar, fell ill in Menorca
- They were staying at the five-star Insotel Punta Prima Resort and Spa at the time
- Jade Fullbrook from Dorset says she and two of her children caught bug there
- Families seeking compensation over ‘horrendous’ sickness on ‘disaster’ break
A suspected sickness outbreak at a five-star resort landed three British children in hospital as a ‘hellish’ bug ruined two family holidays.
Louise Hunter, 36, of St Helens, Merseyside, booked a family holiday to Insotel Punta Prima Resort & Spa, Menorca, Spain.
But she said the trip with her husband, Steven, 44, and their children Rosie, four, and Sarah two, quickly turned ‘hellish’ just one day into the break.
Mrs Hunter projectile vomited in her sleep, waking herself up in the early hours of May 5 to then find her daughters suffering from diarrhoea.
She claims both her children were later taken to a local hospital and given intravenous fluids and medication during their £2,000 all-inclusive holiday.
Sarah, left, and Rosie, right, are pictured in hospital after they both fell ill while staying at the five-star Insotel Punta Prima Resort & Spa
Jade Fulbrook, 33, from Dorset, says she and her 10-year-old, Oscar, were left with acute gastroenteritis at the resort a few days later.
She booked her husband Dave and their family, a break costing almost £2,800 between May 6 and 13 with Oscar and their other children, Zachary, 12, Buddy, six, and Bella, three.
Mrs Fullbrook claims both herself and Oscar also had to be treated at hospital as they suffered with dehydration.
She said: ‘The sickness bug completely ruined our all-inclusive holiday. Just one day into our trip, Sarah became unwell and began being sick everywhere.
‘Initially I didn’t worry too much so I stripped her bedding and put her in another pair of pyjamas, but 20 minutes later it happened again. Then she was continually being sick every 10 or 20 minutes.
Oscar (pictured, left, in hospital) fell ill at the resort just days after a suspected bug landed Rosie and Sarah (right) in hospital too
‘She was in a lot of pain, holding her stomach and getting upset and distressed, but it just kept coming. It carried on for a couple of hours and then Rosie started being sick, and like Sarah, she kept on being ill.
‘At that point I thought something was badly wrong, for them both to become so badly ill so quickly. They had both eaten exactly the same from the kids buffet, so I wondered if it was linked to that. It was horrendous, hellish.
‘Sarah was going through nappies one after another, and at one stage I counted 20 full nappies in an hour. It was something like I’d never seen before and never want to see again. We were just constantly cleaning away sick and diarrhoea and at one stage I had to put a nappy on Rosie too.
‘That upset her as she is four-years-old and she was saying to me “I don’t need to wear nappies anymore mummy”, but it was the only way we could contain it. They were both in immense pain and we could do little to help. It was frightening.
Pictured: Jade Fulbrook, 33, booked her husband Dave, with their children (left to right: Oscar, 10, Bella, three, Zachary, 12 and Buddy, six)
‘I rang my mum at home to ask what to do as she is a nurse and she said we must get medical attention if it went on for 12 hours, as the girls would be getting dehydrated and it could be dangerous.
‘Having requested to see the call-out doctor they were immediately sent to hospital, travelling by taxi arranged by the hotel.
‘Both girls were so poorly and were treated for norovirus and gastroenteritis. We were extremely worried and scared for them.’
The family were finally discharged after both children has stopped vomiting on May 7, but say they were not able to fully enjoy the remaining week of their break.
Mrs Fullbrook added: ‘The girls were still both very weak after what they had been through, and were not able to go in the pool until the last day or two as I didn’t want them to pass anything on to any other children. That was hard as they kept asking to swim and we had to stop them.
‘We went to restaurants on the beach as well, as we didn’t want any more food from the hotel.
‘The reason we booked the hotel was because it had everything there in one place and it was all covered in the price. We had such high expectations but it was a disaster. My children returned home looking pale and thin. Sarah is very clingy now and is scared to go away anymore due to the whole experience.’
Jade Fullbrook (left, with her husband Dave) was horrified when her son, Oscar, became unwell just like Rosie (right)
She says problems started on just the second day of their break, when her children started to develop blisters on their feet after using the hotel swimming pool.
‘We booked the hotel because it was marketed as a five-star premier resort but it was anything but,’ she said. ‘It was just a disaster.
‘Within a couple of days my children started developing nasty, sore blisters that were bleeding.
‘We reported the matter and a rep said that there had been a chemical imbalance in the pool, and that other cases had been reported by the guests, but later they changed their story and they claimed the pool had been fine.
‘Also, just two days into the holiday, I started to suffer from really painful tummy cramps. By the middle of that night it was so bad that I couldn’t sleep.
‘I have honestly never been in so much pain, and I’ve had four children. I’d rather have another baby than suffer that agony again, as by the next morning I couldn’t even get out of bed.
‘Then, that afternoon, my 10-year-old son, Oscar, came back from the pool and started projectile vomiting, then started suffering from diarrhoea.
‘He could not stop being sick all afternoon and by this point our apartment was in such a state as we obviously had nothing to clean up with.
‘We requested help but nobody came. I went to see the TUI rep in the hotel and they said that there had been another case of sickness the day before and that two children had ended up in hospital and she said that we should go too.
‘They organised for us to go in a taxi and I’ve never seen my son so poorly and I couldn’t really believe what was happening.
‘At the hospital we were admitted and hooked up to IV for fluids and medication, staying in overnight. We were told we have acute gastroenteritis and dehydration.
‘To be in a foreign hospital, separated from the rest of my family, was frightening. I am not ashamed to admit I was very scared and I just wanted to be back home.
‘We were told not to eat any fat or sugar for the rest of the holiday and so pretty much stuck to dry toast and bread. I was very reluctant to eat anything at all for the rest of the holiday. I’m still not right even now and my children have been left traumatised by it all.’
Louise Hunter, pictured with her husband, Steven, says her holiday was ruined when Sarah(also pictured) fell ill
Mrs Fullbrook said: ‘We were told they were going to put up signs at the buffet warning people about the illness outbreak but we never saw one. It was like they were trying to dismiss it, or not admit there was a problem, which was wrong in my view.
‘They offered us a train ride around the resort as they said they recognised our holiday had been ruined, but how could that have compensated us for all we had been through?
‘Since we have returned home we have become aware of a number of families who suffered like us at the same time, so serious questions must be asked.’
Lawyer Anne Thomson, of Hudgell Solicitors, said: ‘We have had a situation here where people have been taken very seriously ill and where very young children have been affected.
‘It has been very frightening for the parents and it is difficult to think of a more harrowing situation than to see your child so poorly in a foreign hospital.
‘We feel the sudden onset of illnesses in all of these cases, particularly given all had only consumed food within the hotel buffet after arriving for their holidays, raises serious questions and we are now investigating the cause on behalf of a number of families.
‘It is the responsibility of tour operators to ensure the highest hygiene and food standards on all-inclusive package holidays at all times.
‘Sadly, as we have seen in so many cases over the years, standards can drop in large, busy hotel complexes where thousands of people holiday each year..’
A TUI UK spokesperson said: ‘We are very sorry to hear of these customers’ experiences on their holiday. As this is now a legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further.
‘We’d like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of our hotels in respect of health and safety, including hygiene.’