Two Hemel Hempstead holidaymakers are taking legal action against a five-star Egyptian hotel after they became so ill they were left hooked to drips in their room.
Marc Trundley, 27, and partner Hayley Gavin, 29, paid £1,520 for the romantic 11-night stay in the Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh.
But the couple, who live together in Boxmoor, spent half their holiday stuck inside their room at the Royal Grand Sharm hotel after coming down with a severe gastric illness five days after arriving.
They began to suffer acute stomach cramps, followed by severe diarrhoea and vomiting, after ordering a burger and fries on room service.
After two days with no improvement, they alerted the hotel who called for a doctor who visited them in their room.
The doctor prescribed antibiotics and fluids via IV drips into their arms to fight infection and rehydrate them.
But after three failed attempts to insert a cannula into Hayley’s arm, a second doctor was called to insert it correctly.
The medics then left the couple alone, but they said they were frightened to move in case they ripped the cannulas out of their arms.
The drips were hooked to two lampshades in their room which they had to untie when they needed to get to the toilet, helping each other on the way.
The pair say they spent the remainder of their stay confined to their room, with Hayley attached to the IV drip on and off when she needed it and Marc being hooked up to it twice.
The couple claimed fellow holidaymakers were also falling ill with similar symptoms, and that there was poor hygiene in the public toilets.
Before becoming ill, they said they often saw flies and birds landing on or around uncovered food in the hotel restaurants and food was being served lukewarm.
The flew home to on Saturday, October 3 and have since spent several weeks off work recuperating.
Hayley, a neo-natal nurse, had only recently got over a bout of glandular fever and had been hoping the holiday would help her recovery.
She said: “It was a holiday to relax and it just made us poorly.
“We’re still having effects from it now and the doctors have said we can’t eat any dairy products for six weeks as it would trigger it off again.
“When we were away we didn’t eat anything from the Sunday when we got ill until the following Saturday night when we got home.
“We just couldn’t keep anything down but everything was just going straight through or coming up.
“It was horrendous, absolutely horrendous.”
Marc, a business support manager at a private hospital, added: “We can’t put into words the ordeal we have been put through.
“It was a truly terrifying experience knowing that you are that unwell and have been treated like that by a five-star hotel.
“All we wanted to do was to get home and receive the treatment we needed but we felt completely helpless, trapped in a hotel room, not knowing exactly how serious our illnesses were.
“The indignity of having to help each other to the toilet with IV fluids running through the cannulas, which were still in our arms and hands and attached to the lamp shades, along with the way that we were treated, has left us both physically and mentally exhausted.
“This was meant to be a break that we both deserved and we were expecting a relaxing and luxurious holiday.
“The ordeal has also damaged our confidence when it comes to going away in the future.
“We will be reluctant to go anywhere where we could go through such an experience again.”
The couple, who booked the holiday through tour operator Low Cost Holidays, have called in specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell.
Solicitor Jennifer Mullins said: “The last thing Hayley and Marc expected when booking this luxury holiday was to spend the majority of their holiday stuck in their hotel room attached to IV drips.
“We have now begun our own investigations into the hygiene standards at the hotel and hope to be able to provide Hayley and Marc with the answers they deserve about what caused their condition.
“It is worrying to hear that other holidaymakers may have suffered the same problems as Marc and Hayley during their stay at the hotel.
“We would urge anyone else who suffered problems at the hotel to get in touch as they may be able to help with our investigations.”
The Royal Grand Sharm hotel said: “We are deeply sorry that our guests haven’t enjoyed their stay with us.
“We can’t deny that Mr Trundley and Miss Gavin got sick during their stay for unknown reasons.
“It might be because of changing food habit, travelling, heat or any unknown reason.
“But it is very obvious that they were exaggerating and most of what the guests stated in their complaint are not correct so we reject any financial compensation.”