First Choice ordered to pay customer five-figure payout after falling ill on holiday

  • Dirk Ord spent two days in a hospital bed while in the Dominican Republic
  • The 54-year-old fell ill on an all inclusive stay at the Dreams Resort & Spa
  • Father-of-one says he spotted food being recycled at different meal times
  • Wins five-figure payout from First Choice despite firm denying liability

A father who was rushed to hospital after falling seriously ill while on a dream holiday has secured a five-figure payout.

Dirk Ord, from Northumberland, spent two days in a hospital bed after suffering severe diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pains, joint pains, headaches and cold sweats while in the Dominican Republic.

The 54-year-old said that during his all inclusive stay at the luxury Dreams Resort & Spa he was concerned to see food left uncovered in the restaurant areas.

Dirk Ord has won a five-figure payout after falling ill while on holiday in the Dominican Republic

Dirk Ord has won a five-figure payout after falling ill while on holiday in the Dominican Republic

The 54-year-old said that during his all-inclusive stay at the luxury Dreams Resort & Spa he was concerned to see food left uncovered in the restaurant areas

The 54-year-old said that during his all-inclusive stay at the luxury Dreams Resort & Spa he was concerned to see food left uncovered in the restaurant areas

He also spotted food being recycled at different meal times and fresh food being mixed in with old food.

Dirk travelled to the resort in September 2012 with his partner Vanessa Rose Bailey, 50, his son Owen, nine, and nine of his friends to celebrate various events in their lives including his birthday.

However five days into his two week holiday, he started to feel ill and visited the hotel's medical staff.

Dad-of-one Dirk said: 'It was just horrendous. It just didn't give up any time over the day or night. It was just getting worse and worse and worse.

'The doctor referred me to the hospital straight away.

'It was very scary how ill I became. At one point I was really concerned about what might happen when I was being rushed to hospital.

'I was on a drip and on antibiotics. When I got home I checked the antibiotics out and they were the strongest they could give me.

'I left hospital so I could get my flight home. I spent the rest of the time in the hotel room ill waiting for my plane.'

Dirk, pictured with his partner Vanessa Rose Bailey, 50, and his son Owen, nine, suffered severe diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pains, joint pains, headaches and cold sweats while on holiday

Dirk, pictured with his partner Vanessa Rose Bailey, 50, and his son Owen, nine, suffered severe diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pains, joint pains, headaches and cold sweats while on holiday

Dirk spent two days on a drip in hospital alongside his friend Stephen Robson.

He continued to suffer health issues when he returned home to Seaton Deleval, Northumberland, and has now been left with Irrital Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and intolerances to dairy products and spices.

Dirk, a retired fireman and lecturer, has been taking probiotics since the holiday.

He said: 'When I saw more people arriving at the hotel as we were leaving I felt physically sick.

'I felt like saying to them 'don't go in there you will be ill, there's lots of people in there ill.'

'I felt sick to my stomach all the way home. All I could think was there will be other people in hospital now, there will be other people ill.

Father-of-one Dirk Ord claims he spotted food being recycled at different meal times and fresh food being mixed in with old food

Father-of-one Dirk Ord claims he spotted food being recycled at different meal times and fresh food being mixed in with old food

Dirk travelled with his partner for a dream holiday to the Dreams Resort & Spa at Punta Cana

Dirk travelled with his partner for a dream holiday to the Dreams Resort & Spa at Punta Cana

Dirk says he feels 'let down' by the tour company that he booked his holiday through

Dirk says he feels 'let down' by the tour company that he booked his holiday through

'Vanessa, who was a vegetarian, was the only one who was not ill.

'It wasn't any better when I got home, it was still severe for four to five months after.

'It effects my day to day life, I can't just eat what I want to eat. I have to be careful about what I eat.

'If my family goes out for a Chinese or an Indian meal I can't go, I can't eat it.

'The fact that the illness forced me to alter my diet just adds insult to injury.'

Dirk and eight other holidaymakers in his group instructed expert travel illness lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the conditions at the Dreams Resort & Spa.

They have now secured Dirk a five figure settlement, despite TUI UK Limited T/A First Choice denying liability for his illness.

Dirk said: 'You shouldn't be getting ill on holiday. You pay thousands of pounds to go to these places in the belief you're going to be okay, it's totally wrong.

'I felt let down, I felt annoyed at the fact they are letting people fall ill, they know there is a problem.

'I'm delighted that my legal team has now been able to secure a settlement from the tour operator to cover the loss of a holiday with my friends, the illness I suffered and the impact it continues to have on my life.

'It was supposed to be a special holiday to celebrate various events in our lives but we were left with terrible memories.

'I hope that I can now put this terrible ordeal behind me and move on with my life.'

Jennifer Downing, an expert travel illness lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, said: 'Dirk required medical treatment at the hotel and a local hospital, as well as enduring the symptoms on his return to the UK.

'The ordeal Dirk and his friends endured shows just how serious gastric illnesses can be and the long-term impacts they can have on victims.'

MailOnline Travel has contacted TUI and the Dreams Resort & Spa for comment. 

 

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