Holidaymaker falls severely ill on luxury £3,000 TUI holiday to Cancun

Holidaymaker sues travel giant TUI after being struck down by crippling illness bug and losing two stones in seven days on luxury £3,000 holiday to Cancun in Mexico

  • Kevin Mayo says he suffered dramatic weight loss after contracting sickness bug
  • The self-employed plasterer was on a dream £3,000 trip to Cancun with his wife
  • Mr Mayo, of Poole in Dorset, says bug left him needing the toilet 30 times per day
  • He said facilities at the five star Riu Caribe Resort near Cancun were ‘unhygienic’

A Brit has revealed how he is suing travel giant TUI after losing two stone in just seven days after becoming severely ill on a luxury holiday to Mexico.

Kevin Mayo, 55, claims he suffered the dramatic weight loss after contracting a crippling sickness bug which left him in hospital.

The self-employed plasterer was on a dream £3,000 trip to Cancun when the illness left him making up to thirty toilet trips a day.

He says he was so ill he had to be rushed to hospital by taxi and was then unable to leave his room at the five-star Riu Caribe Resort for most of his holiday.

Kevin Mayo, 55, claims he suffered the dramatic weight loss after contracting a crippling sickness bug which left him in hospital

Mr Mayo (pictured with his wife Karen) says he was so ill he had to be rushed to hospital by taxi and was then unable to leave his room at the five-star Riu Caribe Resort for most of his holiday

Mr Mayo, from Poole in Dorset, says his fuming wife later emailed TUI ten times to tell them about his illness but he says she is still waiting for a reply.

The self employed plasterer said he was also forced into thousands of pounds of debt for the first time in his life as the debilitating illness left him unable to work.

My Mayo, who had holidayed with the firm for six years until his illness, said: ‘I have never been so ill in all my life. It really knocked me for six.


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‘This has been a massive strain on our family and TUI just don’t seem to care. It put us in debt as I was so ill I couldn’t work and had no money coming in as I work for myself.

‘We are still waiting for an apology. They sent us out there knowing there had been previous outbreaks in the same area and didn’t warn us.

‘If I had known I would never have gone. It was supposed to be a romantic getaway and our second honeymoon but it was ruined. 

Two nights after arriving the couple had a letter shoved under their door informing them of a bug that was going around and advising what precautions to take

The couple claimed the poolside buffet area was plagued by small birds that had defecated over all the table and chairs

‘The only time I left the resort was to go to hospital and the rest of the time was spent in and out of the bathroom.

‘We have always gone away with them but now we will never travel with them again.’ 

Mr Mayo booked the 10-day luxury holiday with wife Karen at the five-star Riu Caribe Resort near Cancun expecting a relaxing romantic break with top quality dining.

He said: ‘It was our first holiday on our own without my step daughter so we were really excited.

‘When we got there I saw the number of restaurants and joked to my wife that I would be putting on a few stone – little did I know I would be sick as a dog and lose two stone instead.’

Despite a good first impression he soon discovered that standards of food hygiene among staff appeared to be poor.

Mr Mayo submitted a photograph to TUI which he claims shows how someone took a bite out of a burger pate and put it back in the buffet

The 55-year-old added: ‘On two occasions we saw a chef refilling food containers while taking his mobile out of his pocket before looking at it and handling food.

‘He didn’t wash his hands and wasn’t wearing gloves. When the fresh food was brought out it was just put on top of the old stuff in the containers.

‘Also someone had taken a bite out of a burger and put it back on the buffet plate. It was disgusting.’

He also said the poolside buffet area was plagued by small birds that had defecated over all the table and chairs.

The couple took a taxi to the hospital but when they arrived Mr Mayo spent two hours sat on the floor as the hospital demanded £2,000 in advance to treat him

He added: ‘All the chairs and tables had bird droppings on them. It was very unhygienic.’

Two nights after arriving the couple had a letter shoved under their door informing them of a bug that was going around and advising what precautions to take.

Hours later he started to feel ill with stomach cramps and when he went to the pool the next morning he had to keep dashing to the toilet with severe diarrhoea.

He said: ‘As the day went on I started going to the toilet and then never stopped. I had hot and cold shivers, ached and felt totally drained.’

Over the next two days he tried to go to the pool but spent his time going backwards and forwards to the toilet and his bathroom. 

On one trip back to his room he passed reception and was spotted by a rep who said he ‘looked like a zombie’ and immediately told them to call out the on site doctor.

He came up to their room and after an examination him told him to get to hospital in Cancun.

The couple took a taxi but when they arrived Mr Mayo spent two hours sat on the floor as the hospital demanded £2,000 in advance to treat him.

After their insurer agreed to pay he was put on the ‘strongest possible’ antibiotics and IV saline drips before being diagnosed with an unknown ‘parasite’.

The rest of the holiday was spent in his room but wife Karen made sure the rep detailed his illness in a report.

After their insurer agreed to pay Mr Mayo was put on the ‘strongest possible’ antibiotics and IV saline drips before being diagnosed with an unknown ‘parasite’

He said: ‘I have never been so ill in my life and i just wanted to go home.

He claims that when he got home in June 2016 he was so ill he had to take time off work as it it took him three months to fully recover.  

UK Health officials have issued repeated warnings about visiting the resorts of Riviera Maya and Cancun in Mexico. 

Nick Harris, head of travel law at Simpson Millar Solicitors said: ‘Mr Mayo suffered a horrendous illness and this has greatly impacted his life.

‘Tour operators need to do more to ensure standards of food hygiene are higher in resorts where they are sending tourists.’

A spokesperson for TUI UK said: ‘We’re sorry to hear of Mr and Mrs Mayos’ experience.

‘As this is now subject to ongoing legal proceedings it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.

‘We’d like to reassure customers that we regularly audit all of the hotels we feature in respect of health and safety, including hygiene.’

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