Jet2 silent despite holidaymakers' admission to intensive care

15th July 2019 Personal Injury

A 66-year old man who contracted Legionnaires’ Disease while holidaying at Sun City, Turkey, is still to receive an apology or acknowledgement from Jet2, despite battling the disease for the duration of his holiday, culminating in admission to hospital.

Keith Tidman from London travelled to Sun City Hotel and Beach Club in Olu Deniz on 14th September with his wife, son and daughter-in-law and three grandchildren, the youngest of whom is just 3. Yet just five days after arriving, he fell ill with headaches and joint pain.

Medical attention was arranged in Turkey which resulted in the first misdiagnosis of an infected insect bite. Mr Tidman was given antibiotics and sent on his way, however the symptoms soon worsened, with the onset of vomiting and diarrhoea.

On 23rd September - five days after the onset of the initial symptoms - Mr Tidman again sought medical attention. He was misdiagnosed for the second time, with doctors assuring the family that his “acute gastroenteritis„ would pass. He was again sent away with a cocktail of medication, none of which would make a difference to his rapidly deteriorating health.

By the time the family departed Turkey, having endured a two-week holiday from hell, the previously fit and healthy Mr Tidman was seriously ill, boarding the plane by wheelchair, confused and disorientated.

On returning to England on 29th September - having now battled the disease for nine days - Mr Tidman was driven from the airport to A&E where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ causing pneumonia and admitted to London’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he required intravenous medication and fluids for 4 days.

More than two months later, Mr Tidman continues to experience health complications and remains under the care of his GP. The family has received no apology or explanation from either Jet2 or Sun City Hotel and Beach Club. Jet2 responded to follow up emails from Mr Tidman’s daughter-in-law - the first of which remained unacknowledged for three weeks - replying to say only that for legal reasons the company is unable to comment.

Mr Tidman said: “It’s no underestimation to say that it was the holiday from hell - I needed help from my family throughout the holiday to do even the simplest tasks. It was terrifying to be so unwell so far from home; a frightening experience for all of us, particularly the children - my youngest grandchild is just three. It’s appalling that we haven’t received an apology from Jet2 more than two months later - or an explanation as to why this was allowed to happen and what investigations are being carried out to make sure it never happens again. It really is shameful. I’m still struggling with my health, particularly shortness of breath, and undergoing chest x-rays to establish the extent of the damage to my lungs.„

Joanne Brine, Partner at JMW Solicitors and leading travel lawyer is advising Mr Tidman. She said: “It’s disappointing that Jet2 hasn’t explained the steps that are being taken to investigate this outcome to Mr Tidman and his family, particularly given the severity of his illness and the fact that he hasn’t yet regained full health. The consequences here could have been much worse.

Despite Legionnaires’ disease being a preventable illness, we do usually see outbreaks each year. The number of holidaymakers falling ill while staying at Sun City, and the severity of the impact upon them, is very concerning and I hope that a thorough investigation has taken place to establish the source and prevent further occurrences.

Legionnaires' Disease is a lung infection caught by inhaling droplets of water infected with legionella bacteria. Everyone is susceptible, but higher risk groups include smokers, those over 45 and people with impaired immune systems.

The risk of Legionnaires' Disease has been understood for some years, the bacteria can be found in natural water sources but also in man-made water systems such as hot tubs, mist sprayers and air conditioning units, making hotels particularly susceptible. There is easily available guidance to control the risks of Legionnaires' and it is a preventable disease.

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Joanne Brine is a Partner located in Manchesterin our Personal Injury department

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