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Family tell of holiday nightmare as baby son contracted salmonella

By Megan Archer | Streetly | News | Published:

The mother of a ten-month-old boy whose holiday was “ruined” after he contracted dangerous salmonella has instructed specialist lawyers to investigate his illness.

Chris Westwood, Oscar Westwood, Poppy Westwood and Hollie Seaman

Baby Oscar Westwood, from Streetly, near Great Barr, travelled to the four-star Flamingo Beach Resort Lanzarote in March as part of a group of 13 adults and 11 children.

Just a few days into the all-inclusive holiday he began vomiting and suffering from severe diarrhoea.

His symptoms persisted throughout the holiday and his mum Hollie Seaman took him to see a doctor in the resort. Upon his return to the UK, Hollie took Oscar to their GP where he was diagnosed with salmonella.

Hollie said others in their party, which was booked to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday, also fell ill.

The party flew out to Lanzarote on March 10 for the week-long holiday in the resort of Playa Blanca booked through tour operator TUI.

Oscar fell ill just two days later. Hollie sought medical advice from a GP in a medical centre in Playa Blanca who explained that Oscar was showing early signs of dehydration and should be taken to hospital for treatment. The mother visited the Accident and Emergency Department where Oscar was treated with anti-sickness medication.

A couple of days after the group returned home, Hollie took Oscar to the GP, where a stool sample was taken and Oscar was given a course of antibiotics.

Two days later Oscar was not showing any signs of getting better so Hollie contacted their GP and was advised to take Oscar to the Accident and Emergency Department. He spent several hours at Good Hope Hospital in Birmingham and was given medication to rehydrate him before being discharged from hospital.

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Hollie said: “It was heart-breaking to see Oscar so sick and in pain during our holiday. It was meant to be a nice break for us all, but it was ruined after he became ill. It was so frightening having to seek treatment from a hospital in Spain and the nightmare was not over when we got home because I had to take him to our local hospital.

“He was diagnosed with salmonella and even now he has not made a full recovery and has been placed on a diary-free diet to try and manage his symptoms.

“We saved up and had been looking forward to our holiday for a long time, so we are absolutely devastated as to how it ended, and to watch our son suffer was horrible.

“I remember the food at the resort was left uncovered and some of it was served lukewarm, so we have many questions which need answering. We need to know what made Oscar so unwell.”

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Hollie and Oscar’s father, Chris Westwood, have now instructed expert international personal injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the illness.

Clare Pearson, a specialist Holiday Illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Chris and Hollie are concerned about what caused Oscar’s illness and have asked us to investigate. Salmonella is a dangerous infection which can leave lasting effects or even lead to fatality in some circumstances.

“As part of our investigations, we are keen to hear from anyone who may have information about conditions at the Flamingo Beach Resort in Lanzarote.

“If, during the course of our investigations, any hygiene issues are highlighted it is important that lessons are learned to hopefully prevent others falling ill in the future.”

A TUI UK spokesperson said: "We are very sorry to hear of Oscar’s experience. As this is now a legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further. We’d like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of the hotels we feature in respect of health and safety, including hygiene."

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email megan.archer@expressandstar.co.uk.

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