Edinburgh family seek compensation after holiday from hell
An Edinburgh family's summer holiday was ruined when their 2 children became seriously ill
with a violent stomach bug
after playing in a hotel swimming pool
Julie Livingstone, 32, and her partner Roddy Scotland, 37, took their children Emily Simpson, five, and Charlie Scotland, one, on a fortnight's break to the Flamingo Beach Holiday Village in Lanzarote
during the school holidays in July.
But before the end of the first week Emily had taken seriously ill
with the parasitic water-borne infection cryptosporidium
which has been linked to poor hygiene in swimming pools. Charlie became ill soon after and Emily took nearly a month to recover. She was diagnosed with cryptosporidium on returning home to Scotland.
Now the family are seeking holiday illness compensation
from tour operator First Choice
, who they booked their break with, and have enlisted the help of solicitors Simpson Millar to fight their case.
Julie said: "Emily took ill at the end of the first week of our fortnight's summer holiday. At first she had excruciating tummy pain; really bad cramps. It was so bad she was screaming out in agony and at times she was doubled over with pain. Following that she was violently sick and had terrible diarrhoea."
"The whole of the second half of our holiday was a nightmare. The staff at the hotel just kept saying there was a bit of a bug going round and not to worry. But every other person we spoke to at the hotel seemed to have taken ill. It took Emily nearly a month to recover once she was back home. She was in the hotel swimming pool for most of the first week and it seems most likely that's where she's picked it up. She was so poorly it was awful."
"Thankfully Charlie didn't suffer with it as long as Emily. But the doctors said there was no treatment we could give either of them, it's a self limiting illness so you just have to wait until the body has beaten it. I wouldn't want any family to go what we've been through, it was dreadful. Children and adults are being put at risk from this horrible illness because hotels aren't following the proper procedures on swimming pool hygiene. You're supposed to have the best time of the year while you're away on holiday but we couldn't wait to get home."Nick Harris, head of international travel law
at Simpson Millar, said the firm was currently in settlement negotiations on behalf of the family with First Choice. He added that Simpson Millar has been contacted by several other families affected by cryptosporidium while staying at the same hotel."
Nick said: "This family have had a terrible experience during their summer holiday with over half of their break spent nursing their two children who were in real distress with this illness. Instead of playing out and enjoying the sunshine Emily and Charlie were in bed ill."
"It's most likely they've picked up cryptosporidium while using the hotel's swimming pool. This is a very serious and nasty bug which can have lasting complications for people who come down with it. It has been known to cause permanent irritable bowel syndrome in some cases and also allergies such as lactose intolerance. Julie and her partner are still waiting to here if this is the case for Emily."
"Simpson Millar's travel law team takes cases like this very seriously and we're dedicated to ensuring those affected get the compensation they are entitled to. We'd be very interested to hear from any other holiday makers who may have had something similar happen to them. We operate on a no win no fee basis so people can be sure if their case isn't successful they won't pay anything."