A North East mum-of-one has documented her ‘holiday from hell’ after falling seriously ill during a stay at the Grand Sirenis Punta Cana Resort in the Dominican Republic.

Samantha Broadbent, 49, and her 13-year-old son Ben, travelled to the five-star hotel in August this year to celebrate him finishing primary school.

Administrator Samantha and Ben arrived at the Grand Sirenis Punta Cana Resort on 7 August after booking the trip through tour operator TUI UK Limited.

During the afternoon of August 22, the last day of the holiday, Samantha began suffering from diarrhoea before getting on the plane home to Manchester. 

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Upon her arrival back to the UK, she began complaining of stomach cramps. By that evening, she was vomiting.

Ben called an ambulance and Samantha was taken to hospital. 

Here, she was given fluids and treated with IV antibiotics. She remained in hospital overnight and underwent blood tests.

She was subsequently diagnosed with shigella on 1 September, a bacterial infection.

Approaching two months on, Samantha continues to have ongoing symptoms including diarrhoea.

She said: “I booked the holiday so I could have some quality time with Ben after he finished school.  We had both been really looking forward to it, but by the end of the trip I was unwell.

“I heard of another family who were all sick.  Food was left uncovered and reheated, with new food added to existing. 

“There were also crabs and cats seen around the buffet, as well as spiders and flies.  It really didn’t seem hygienic to me.

“I also recall plasters and bugs floating in the pool, which really isn’t something you expect from a five-star resort.”

She added: “I’m not someone who normally suffers with a delicate stomach, but it’s been awful since our holiday.  I always must make sure there’s a toilet around and there are some things I can’t eat now as they trigger it.

“To find out I had a bacterial infection was a huge shock and I deserve some answers.  While I can’t change what I’ve been through, knowing how it happened might help stop others from suffering like I have.”

After suffering badly with the bacteria disease, she’s now instructed international serious injury experts to investigate how she became infected with shigella.

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