A DREAM holiday turned into a nightmare for a Kenilworth couple after they both fell badly ill.
Raymond and Susan Evans travelling on the Trans-Siberian Railway from Russia To Beijing last September when they suffered severe gastric symptoms following a stay at Gorkhi-Terelj National Park in Mongolia.
Raymond was particularly hard hit and had to be rushed to hospital as soon as they touched down back home at Heathrow. He was diagnosed with suspected campylobacter – a bacterial illness often caused by raw and undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk or contaminated water – which may have also affected his kidney function.
The 64 year-old was treated with antibiotics and fluids and kept under observation in hospital for two days before being discharged. Tests a month later showed his kidneys had returned to normal but it is not clear if there is any lasting damage.
The couple believe it may have been undercooked chicken that caused their illness..
Raymond said: “It was hideous. We were so unwell and all we wanted to do was curl up and try to sleep it off, but that simply wasn’t an option.
“The journey back to the UK was miserable and I was so weak and disoriented when we landed that I couldn’t even walk properly. When the doctors told me my kidneys weren’t working it was terrifying.
“Now I am just angry that there weren’t better hygiene standards in place to keep us safe. It was a terrible and pretty undignified end to an otherwise wonderful trip.”
The retired couple are now taking legal action against the travel group they booked with.
Jennifer Downing, a personal injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the Evans, said: “For Raymond to be told his kidneys were not functioning properly demonstrates the severity of this type of illness and he still has some time to go before he will know the full extent of any long term effects.
“Campylobacter is the most common cause of food poisoning and from our work we understand just how serious it can be and the life-changing impact these kinds of illnesses can have on those unfortunate enough to develop them.
“We are now carrying out our investigations to determine how Raymond and Susan managed to contract the suspected campylobacter.”