The mother of a seven-year-old boy left ‘fighting for his life’ with salmonella at an Egypt hotel is demanding ‘answers’.
Luay Mohammad developed gastric illness symptoms including severe diarrhoea and painful stomach cramps during the second week of his two-week stay at the five-star Tia Heights resort in Hurghada.
When the family returned home to Balsall Heath in Birmingham in August, Luay’s mum Fathia described how his symptoms worsened – leading to a series of complications including sepsis , seizures and a stroke.
Luay was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where medics informed terrified Fathia, 30, that he might not make it
Speaking about the harrowing ordeal, Fathia said: "It was absolutely horrendous seeing how the illness had affected him – he was screaming and struggling to breath. When we got to hospital we were told he might not make it, which is something simply no mother should ever have to hear about one of their children.
“It is horrifying to think this all started with him suffering food poisoning, but that is what the medical experts have suggested. This was meant to be a special family holiday but now we will always look back on it as a nightmare."
Fathia went on to explain how they were concerned about certain aspects of how the Tia Heights resort was run.
She added: "We saw a few things that troubled us during the holiday like new food seemingly being added to old and some items being reheated, but I never felt for one moment that we could be at risk of serious harm.
"I am just so angry and I am determined to ensure that no other parent goes through what I am facing. This simply cannot be allowed to happen again."
Luay remained under critical care for almost three weeks in the hospital’s intensive care unit and is now stable and undergoing physiotherapy as an inpatient.
Fathia has now has instructed specialist lawyers to help her gain answers regarding the ‘nightmare’ holiday experience.
Amandeep Dhillon, a Partner at Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office is representing Luay’s family.
He has and has also been contacted by more than 45 holidaymakers who fell ill at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic in Hurghada – where John and Susan Cooper fell ill and died in hospital during a family holiday.
Speaking about Luay and Fathia’s experience, he said: "This is a hugely troubling case which highlights the devastating impact that salmonella food poisoning can have, with those most vulnerable such as children often going on to develop further complications and health problems.
"After the Egyptian authorities have confirmed this week that E. Coli, which is a potentially fatal bacterial infection, was the cause of Mr and Mrs Cooper’s deaths at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic in August, it is even more concerning that yet another Egyptian case has come to light where a young holidaymaker has been left with potentially life-long complications.
"Sepsis is incredibly dangerous and can prove fatal if not diagnosed quickly. It is not an exaggeration to say that the swift actions of the staff at Birmingham Children’s Hospital may have saved Luay’s life.
“It is still not known what Luay’s long-term prognosis will be but we are investigating what Luay has faced and are determined to get answers following confirmation upon his return from holiday that he was suffering from Salmonella. It is vital that, where possible, lessons can be learned from this case so others do not face similar issues in the future.
"As part of our investigations we would like to hear from other guests who may have information about conditions at the Tia Heights this summer.”
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