A British mother has revealed her hair began falling out due to stress after suffering a gastric illness at a Greek resort the day after her partner proposed, as a group of UK tourists took legal action.
Jessica Brecknock, 35, from Nottingham, and her partner Sam traveled to the four-star Mitsis Family Village Beach hotel in Kos for a week-long holiday, the first without their children, in May last year.
Sam asked Jessica to marry him, but their celebrations were cut short when she became seriously ill and developed diarrhea the next day, confining her to the hotel room for the rest of the vacation.
Upon returning to the UK, the mother-of-four went to A&E after she also started to feel tired and short of breath. There she was diagnosed with salmonella and isolated for nine days.
‘Even after being discharged, life has not been the same. “I’m far from recovered and I still can’t eat properly and I started losing my hair,” he said.
Jessica Brecknock (pictured), 35, from Nottingham, and her partner Sam traveled to the four-star Mitsis Family Village Beach hotel in Kos for a week-long holiday, their first without their children, in May last year. Sam asked Jessica to marry him.
Her celebrations were cut short when she fell ill with serious illnesses and diarrhea. Back in the UK, she was admitted to hospital (pictured above during her hospital stay) and was diagnosed with salmonella.
The couple stayed at the Mitsis Family Village Beach Hotel (pictured above) from May 10 to May 17.
The 35-year-old added: “This was supposed to be a really special occasion to celebrate our engagement, but the holiday quickly turned into anyone’s worst nightmare.”
He said that when he first got sick while on vacation, he thought he had suffered heat stroke, until his symptoms worsened.
Jessica said: ‘I decided to wait until I got home and hoped things would get better. I made a mistake.
‘When I got home I spent the whole day in bed and the next day I was so sick I knew I needed a hospital. I never thought I would need to be admitted and kept isolated.
‘It was a scary moment and all kinds of thoughts were going through my mind at the time. They said it was salmonella, but I never realized it could make me so sick and they had to check my kidney function.’
After being discharged from the hospital, Jessica still felt sick, so she had to take six weeks off work to get better. Even today, she said she still has trouble eating and suffers from hair loss.
Jessica added: “I’ve been to Kos a few times in the past and loved it, but now I’ll never go back,” after holidaying at the Mitsis Hotel from May 10-17.
Jessica (her arm in the photo while in hospital) said: “I never thought I would need to be admitted and kept in isolation. It was a scary time (…). They said it was salmonella, but I never realized I could get sick so much and they had to check my kidney function.
Jessica is one of a growing group of Brits who have contacted international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate after they all suffered a gastric illness while staying at the Mitsis resort (pictured) in Kos.
‘As his first holiday without the kids, Sam decided to choose this moment to propose. Everything was meant to be so wonderful and romantic and it was completely ruined.
‘I’m now afraid to book a honeymoon because of the experience. Fortunately, I’m pretty fit and well, but I’m scared to think what might happen if someone older or vulnerable fell as ill as me.
“We need answers to find out what went wrong so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
Jessica is one of a growing group of Brits who have contacted international serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate after they all suffered a gastric illness while staying at the Mitsis resort in Kos.
Lewis and Charlotte Maskew, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, were holidaying at the hotel the same month as Jessica and Sam. The Maskew family stayed at the resort from May 10-24.
The couple, both 31 years old, were traveling with their four-year-old daughter, Imogen, and her one-year-old twin daughters, Ada and Esme.
Four days after their arrival, the family ate at the beach bar restaurant, where the parents and eldest Imogen ate pork rolls.
Everyone began to feel unwell the next day, with diarrhea, vomiting, high temperatures and fever. They struggled to keep their fluids down and called the hotel for a doctor on May 16, but it took three days for the doctor to come to examine the family.
The family had to pay the doctor €100 (£85), who said they had just had a stomach virus which should go away within 24 hours and provided them with rehydration pills.
But Lewis, Charlotte and Imogen continued to feel unwell for the remaining five days of the holiday.
After returning to the UK on May 24, Lewis began to suffer from severe haemorrhoids and Imogen’s bowel movements were not the same for a month after her return.
Lewis and Charlotte Maskew, from Burntwood, Staffordshire, were holidaying at the hotel the same month as Jessica and Sam. The Maskew family (pictured) stayed at the resort from May 10-24.
Lewis said: “This time we even pushed the boat and opted for a four-star all-inclusive hotel.” Our first impressions of the hotel were not very good’ (view from the hotel rooms with pool access in the photo)
Lewis, a maintenance technician, said: “We hadn’t been able to go abroad for a while after the twins were born, so this holiday was a treat for the family and a belated celebration of our 30th birthday.
‘This time we even went the extra mile and opted for a four-star all-inclusive hotel. Our first impressions of the hotel were not very good. The room was not ready when we arrived and it was impossible to ignore the flies surrounding the main dining room of the restaurant.
‘After lunch on May 14, Charlotte, Imogen and I started getting sick one after another.
‘I’ve never felt so sick and it was hard to do anything to help your children when you were sick yourself. Despite requesting a doctor, days passed before we were seen and the medication had little effect.
“The holiday was ruined and the only consolation is that luckily the twins were not affected.” Afterwards all three of us were still sick.
“I’m still far from well and Charlotte’s hair has started to fall out, we think, due to the stress of it all. Imogen was still not well after a month.
‘This holiday was supposed to be the highlight of our year and it turned into an absolute nightmare.
‘We know other guests were sick like us and we feel the least we deserve is answers and an explanation. “You don’t expect to pay for a four-star hotel and have this happen to you.”
James Blower, the International serious injury lawyer Irwin Mitchell representing the group said he was now investigating how his clients such as Jessica Brecknock and the Maskew family became ill to “guarantee them the answers they deserve”.
He said: ‘All our customers were really looking forward to their holidays. However, they were ruined when they suffered serious gastric illness, including Salmonella.
“The effects of such serious illnesses should never be downplayed as they can have serious long-term consequences for the health of those affected.”
Mitsis Family Village Beach is a four-star hotel in Kardamena on Kos. Pictured above is one of the ocean view rooms at the resort.
Another room is shown above, with a pool and palm trees visible outside the balcony doors.
He said that if any problems are identified during the investigation, they will be “vital lessons (…) to ensure that other tourists do not suffer a similar experience.”
“From conversations with both groups, it appears that other hotel guests may also have become ill at the same time and we would love to hear from anyone else who stayed at the hotel in question while our investigations continue,” he added.
Another group of six people also reported getting sick at the same complex, with varying degrees of gastric discomfort. They have also asked Irwin Mitchell to investigate.
Mitsis Family Village Beach is a four-star hotel in Kardamena on Kos.
The resort has a main restaurant that offers buffet-style food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a snack bar and pizzeria on the beach as well as a creperie and ice cream parlor.
MailOnline has contacted the Mitsis Family Village Beach hotel for comment.