Family holiday to Mexico ruined by food poisoning illness

Holiday pool area

A family holiday, costing thousands, was ruined after the couple fell ill with food poisoning.

The couple had booked a two week all-inclusive package holiday to Mexico through First Choice with their seven year old son. However, on the sixth day Nicola fell ill, shortly followed by her husband Robert.

“We had to try and make the best of it for our son but we were limited in what we could do as we were both in so much pain. We had been looking forward to booking excursions but we were trapped in the hotel.

“At one point, I passed out and hit my head and my hair fell out around the cut. I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to get home and were going to end up in a foreign hospital.“We told our holiday rep from First Choice but they weren’t bothered at all. We realised we were on our own, as they gave us no support.”

Nicola and Robert endured the rest of their holiday and made it home, but it took a couple of more weeks before they felt 100% again which meant further time off work. They both lost a stone in weight.

“I know people get ill on holiday but this was such a bad experience, our whole holiday was ruined. We had worked all year to be able to afford it and it felt like we had just thrown money away so we decided to get in touch with Digby Brown.”

Beate McBurnie in our Foreign & Travel team raised the case against tour operator First Choice under Package Tour Regulations. As Nicola and Robert had only ever consumed food and drink at the hotel, it was clear where the food poisoning was contracted.

Luckily, they had both gone to the doctors when they returned home. Samples were taken which confirmed they had food poisoning. They were diagnosed with cyclospora and Nicola also had a post-concussion syndrome from her fall.

“It was all very easy, Digby Brown did all the work for us. We wouldn’t have known where to start or which medical specialists we should see. Beate was such a lovely person to deal with and the service was absolutely brilliant. She always kept in contact and would tell us if we needed to do anything or explain what would happen next.”

In the end, the couple were awarded £8,350 in compensation.

“It certainly doesn’t cost you anything or take a lot of time to find out if you have a case. If I hadn’t got in touch with Digby Brown, and used their no win no fee funding, we wouldn’t have anything.

“The outcome was far more than we ever expected, it was overwhelming. We’ve used the money to book a holiday to New York later this year and we can’t wait.”