By Charlotte Nisbet
A couple who claim they were poisoned at the same hotel in Egypt where two Brits died last week have spoken out horrific ordeal.
Garry Copeman and his wife, Faye, from Hull, stayed at the five star all-inclusive Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada in April.
But their luxury holiday soon turned into a living nightmare when Faye, 45, claims she was struck down with severe sickness and diarrhoea just one day into their trip.
After spending £1280 on their holiday, the couple then paid an additional £380 on snorkelling trip and sunset cruises through Thomas Cook.
Garry claims that once Faye’s sickness subsided that he then fell unwell just days later and the pair were unable to leave their hotel room.
They also claim that after speaking to other guests it became apparent that dozens of people had been struck down by the sickness bug with some guests begging their travel agents to return home.
Garry is now sharing his shocking ordeal in light of the double deaths last week at the same hotel and has now launched legal action through Hudgell Solicitors.
The 51-year-old said: “We didn’t leave the hotel so there’s no doubt we caught something while there.
“It took Faye just two days before she started throwing up and battling diarrhoea.
“We’d booked some trips through Thomas Cook for £380 on our first day but we couldn’t enjoy either of them as Faye was so unwell.
“She couldn’t leave the hotel room and our travel rep wasn’t bothered at all, he was so rude.
“Everyone around us was complaining and we couldn’t believe our holiday had turned into such a nightmare.
“Faye was worried to eat anything other than soup and when I fell ill I couldn’t eat at all.
“We’ve not received anything from Thomas Cook apart from a letter to state we could have £100 off our next trip if we spend another £1,000.
“It’s a joke and it was a complete disaster. I just feel so sorry for the family that have lost two people there.”
Garry has now embarked on a legal battle against Thomas Cook in an attempt to redeem funds for his holiday.
He added: “It’s not about the money now it’s about the principle of it all.
“We took hardly any photos on holiday as we never wanted to remember our time there, it was awful.
“Me and Faye are still affected by the suspected food poisoning now as every time we eat a large meal we have to rush to the toilet.
“There were entire families on our holiday that were ill and desperate to come home early.
“We feel lucky it wasn’t any worse after reading what we have about the hotel in recent days.”
Paul McClorry, head of Travel Litigation at Hudgell Solicitors said: “Obviously, I’m saddened by the tragic events which have taken place in Egypt and my thoughts are with the family of John and Susan Cooper at this time.
“In instances like this, the health and safety of holidaymakers should always take priority and its pleasing to see that Thomas Cook have now taken measures to relocate guests from the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel.
“Given the tragic outcome of the past few days at this hotel and the extreme measures which have been taken to remove around 300 other holidaymakers, it is clear there needs to be a through, detailed and open investigation into what has happened and any concerns which have been raised.
“Some of these cases date back to April of this year, which draws into question this hotel’s hygiene standards for a significant period of time, during which hundreds of people will have stayed here on holiday.
“Therefore, the hotel’s hygiene procedures need to be very carefully considered for the entirety of this period.
“Thomas Cook and the hotel owners must now undertake comprehensive investigation to discover any potential factors which may have cause this tragedy and contributed towards any outbreaks of illness.”
A spokesperson for Thomas Cook said: “We are aware that a number of customers have come forward to say they have experienced illness while staying at the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel in Hurghada, Egypt.
“We are very sorry for those customers whose holidays have been spoiled. We take all illness very seriously and we will continue to investigate any outstanding cases.