United Kingdom

Father-of-three is left paralysed after food poisoning on holiday to the Dominican Republic

A father-of-three has been left paralysed after developing suspected food poisoning on a dream holiday to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary.

William Marsh, 57, was in a coma for 10 weeks and spent seven months in hospital after becoming ill on a holiday to the Dominican Republic with his wife Kathryn.

He has been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare neurological condition which is a known complication from food poisoning.

Mr Marsh, from Mountain Ash, Wales, has now called on specialist serious injury lawyers to investigate his 'devastating' ordeal.  

William Marsh, 57, was in a coma for 10 weeks and spent seven months in hospital after becoming ill on a holiday to the Dominican Republic with his wife Kathryn

He started suffering from stomach cramps and diarrhoea towards the end of a week-long all-inclusive at the Riu Naiboa resort to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary.

When he got back home, the symptoms continued and on the day he was due to return to work as an engineer he woke up to find he had no feeling in his legs.

That sensation then started to spread across his entire body and William was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

Mr Marsh was on a ventilator in Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and after a long period of treatment he was able to return home. 

But two years on from his diagnosis, his life has now completely changed, being unable to walk and essentially confined to his living room.

He has been unable to return to work, and requires a hoist to be lifted into a wheelchair. He also has severe weakness down his left-hand side. 

Mr Marsh's holiday at the Riu Naiboa was booked through TUI UK Limited, who have said they are 'sorry' to hear of his 'experience'.

The father-of-three, who is confined to his living room and has described the incident as 'devastating' and 'very frustrating', now has lawyers investigating the ordeal 

The father-of-three, who has described the incident as 'devastating' and 'very frustrating', now has lawyers investigating the ordeal.

He wants help in accessing the specialist rehabilitation that he requires.

Representing, Jatinder Paul from Irwin Mitchel said: 'This is a truly devastating case which clearly highlights the impact that gastric illness can have in some instances.

'Guillain-Barré syndrome can emerge following a bacterial infection and can cause anything from numbness to muscle weakness. In very severe cases like William's, it can even cause long-term, or permanent, paralysis.

'William has faced the most challenging period of his life and continues to hold many questions regarding what he has been through. 

Mr Marsh started suffering from stomach cramps and diarrhoea at the Riu Naiboa resort to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary (with wife Kathryn)

'We are determined to help him establish what happened and also secure him access to the specialist support he needs to ensure he gets the best from life.

'His life has been completely turned upside down by his condition and we are committed to doing everything we can to help him look to a brighter future.'

Mr Marsh said: 'I need so much help to do even the simplest of tasks now and we have carers visiting the house every day. 

We have also had to make a range of changes, as we needed a wet room, new central heating and an adapted car. I have to spend most of my time in the living room as I struggle to access other areas. It's been devastating.

'The process of recovery has been incredibly slow and it has been very frustrating at times. It is still hard to believe everything that has happened to me and it has been tough facing up to the fact that I may never walk properly again.' 

A TUI UK spokeswoman said: ' We're sorry to hear of Mr Marsh's experience. As this is now a legal matter, it would be inappropriate to comment further.

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

Mr Marsh has also received support from the charity Guillain-Barré and Associated Inflammatory Neuropathies (GAIN), the only national organisation in the UK and Republic of Ireland dedicated to helping people affected by Guillain-Barré syndrome, CIDP and the related conditions. 

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