A British tourist was allegedly vomiting blood after contracting a deadly parasite while on an all-inclusive TUI trip to Mexico. Chris Gillian claims he was on a special anniversary trip with his wife Marisa when he started to feel dizzy and rushed back to his room where he was violently sick.
The new dad was struck down with a parasitic infection called cyclospora, which he claims TUI failed to warn him about when he booked.
Cyclospora is usually caught from eating food contaminated with feces. Gillian claims he feared he was going to die after catching the bug from a meal eaten on his resort, which has not been named. He is one of 400 tourists who all say they were struck down with the parasite over a three-year period.
The Gillians claim they booked two weeks abroad through TUI's sister company First Choice. In ITV's Holidays: All-Inclusives Uncovered? Gillian claims he started to feel ill a week into the holiday.
"We went out for a meal on our first night and had a really nice time," he said. "But almost a week in, I'd woken up feeling funny. Me and my wife went and sat by the poolside and it started to get progressively worse, I started to get really bad headaches and feel really dizzy so we went back to the hotel room. I remember laying on the bed and I just had this sudden urge that I was going to throw up. I barely made it to the sink and just threw up what I can only describe as just blood."
Gillian was rushed to hospital where he was given painkillers and antibiotics to flush out the infection. He claims to remember a doctor who couldn't speak English repeating the word "parasite" while he was treated.
Gillian was discharged from the hospital after 24 hours but had to follow a restricted diet and drink no alcohol for the rest of the holiday.
Thankfully the couple's insurance covered the thousands of pounds in medical fees.
Public Health England issued warnings about cyclospora but it's claimed that TUI hadn't told customers ahead of travel. Instead, they were given a letter giving advice based around personal hygiene and food preparation, even if they were on an all-inclusive break where they're unlikely to do any cooking.
But Gillian claims neither he or his wife were given the letter. He now says he wants someone to "take responsibility" for his ruined holiday.
"I want someone to take responsibility I want someone to hold their hands up and say, 'yes we knew there was a problem but unfortunately we didn't fix it that time,' it's as simple as that," he said. "I didn't know what was happening to me. I don't want anyone to go through what I went through."
Lawyer Nick Harris is part of a firm representing Gillian and hundreds of others who became ill after contracting cyclospora.
"There was a duty placed on TUI to tell customers before traveling to Mexico, the moment that they knew of an outbreak in the resort, something that was likely to affect people," Harris said. "If you imagine people who have for instance poor immune systems traveling to a resort like that and then succumbing to an illness like cyclospora, that's dangerous."