‘Dream’ holiday became ‘nothing but a nightmare’ for Dewsbury family

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A father-of-three’s dream family holiday to celebrate a 40th birthday and his honeymoon ended in disaster when he was taken to hospital with a stomach illness.

A father-of-three’s dream family holiday to celebrate a 40th birthday and his honeymoon ended in disaster when he was taken to hospital with a stomach illness.

Mark Swannell, from Dewsbury, fell ill with diarrhoea, abdominal pain, nausea and lethargy during a week-long holiday with his wife, Nicola, and their three children at the First Choice Holiday Village resort in Sarigerme, Turkey.

Mr Swannell, 46, said: “I was in a really bad way and Nicola had no option but to get the hotel doctor to come to our room as I felt like I was going to collapse.

“I was taken by wheelchair to the surgery, laid out on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to hospital – I couldn’t believe this was happening on our special family holiday.”

An outbreak of gastric illness at the same Turkish resort in 2009 led to around £1.7m paid out in compensation to almost 600 people.

Now lawyers Irwin Mitchell are investigating Mr Swannell’s illness and hope to work with tour operator TUI UK, which manages First Choice and Thomson, to determine the cause of the illness and whether it was contracted at the hotel or elsewhere.

Mr Swannell claimed food he was served at the resort’s hotel during his stay, from October 23, was under-cooked, served at the wrong temperature and he found blood inside some chicken. The family also claimed food at the hotel was left uncovered for long periods of time and looked as though it had been served more than once.Mr Swannell, who works as a bus driver, said the illness was so severe he couldn’t go back to work for a week.

A spokesperson for TUI said: “We are sorry to hear of the Swannell’s experience at the Holiday Village Turkey in October.

“First Choice closely audits all resorts to which we operate to ensure that health, hygiene and comfort levels are maintained in line with industry standards.”