A mum hospitalised after contracting E.coli on a sunkissed Egyptian holiday today told of her sickness nightmare after she was awarded a share of a £100,000 pay-out.
Roxanne Barraclough, from Marton, fell ill during a family holiday at the Sindbad Aqua Park Hotel in Hurghada.
When they returned home, she was taken to hospital THREE times before it was eventually diagnosed as E.Coli.
Now Roxanne, 26, is one of 26 holidaymakers who this week shared a payout of more than £100,000 from holiday operator Thomas Cook.
She said: “Everybody gets ill when they go away, but not like this. We would certainly never book again with Thomas Cook.”
The horror began just a couple of days into the holiday in 2012 when Roxanne, along with Daniel, 24 and Jess, seven, began to feel unwell.
“We’d been there three or four days when we all had to keep going to the toilet.
“We couldn’t sit out in the sun, we were sweating and hot and were just feeling generally ill.”
And Roxanne had cause for concern given what she could see at meal times and around the family resort.
“The hotel looked nice,” she said. “But there were birds landing on food, there was chicken being left out, that was under cooked – almost raw.
“Around the grounds where they were watering the plants there was a funny smell. We asked around and were pretty much told it was taken from the drains.”
While Daniel and Jess recovered on their return to the UK, Roxanne was not so fortunate. She said: “I ended up going into hospital, I had very severe pain in my stomach and around where your kidneys are. They kept telling me it was a urine infection and eventually they said I should stop going in.”
But things took a dramatic turn for the worse shortly after Roxanne’s third trip to Accident and Emergency.
“I ended up being taken in by ambulance,” said Roxanne.
“I was in such pain they gave me gas and air, I think they even gave me morphine.
“They put me on a ward and I had a scan on my kidneys.
“All of a sudden I was quarantined, isolated away from the other patients and that’s when I realised it was serious.”
And test results at Blackpool Victoria Hospital proved Roxanne’s worst fears true.
“They came back and told me they had found E. coli and it had got into the bloodstream.
“I spend five days on a drip with some very strong medication.
“You hear E. coli and you know it’s serious.
“Just after my case a little girl died from it somewhere else in the country, it’s a worrying thing.”
Having finally beaten the bacterial infection, Roxanne decided to take action against Thomas Cook – initially approaching solicitors in Blackpool before contacting Irwin Mitchell, who told her 18 other people had reported concerns with the same Egyptian resort.
And, having settled her case, Roxanne is ready to travel again.
“We have been on holiday since,” Roxanne said. “There was a time when I didn’t think I’d want to again.
“But we’d certainly never book again with Thomas Cook.”
The tour operator insists health and safety is the number one priority of all those who travel with them.
A spokesman said: “We are always concerned to hear of any sickness reported while on holiday.
“It is never our intention to disappoint any of our customers, and we are sorry that a number of them became unwell while they were on holiday at the Sindbad Aqua Park Hotel in 2012.
“We know how important holidays are to our customers and how upsetting it can be when they fall unwell while overseas.
“We have been liaising closely with the appointed solicitor representing Ms Barraclough, as well as other customers who stayed at the hotel in 2012, and are pleased that we have reached an agreement to resolve this matter amicably with them.”