A dream holiday morphed into a nightmare after three members of the same family were hospitalised for separate conditions.
Dominic and Emily Pitter, from Derby, splashed out £9,000 on a five-star trip to Jamaica’s west coast, but swiftly found themselves facing a £21,000 medical bill after experiencing a series of medical mishaps.
On their second day at the Beaches Negril Resort and Spa, Dominic, 36, suffered a perforated bowel and was rushed to hospital for emergency surgery – costing £16,000. The mental health nurse had 25cm of his bowel removed during the life-saving operation, which had to be paid for upfront using three credit cards.
As he recovered, daughter Amelia, 12, was hospitalised with acute gastroenteritis and dehydration. Then Matilda, seven, suffered an upset stomach, but managed to avoid hospital.
Frantic with worry, Pitter’s father Len, 66, flew the 4,800 miles to Jamaica to be by his son’s bedside.
When Pitter was released 12 days later, the resort where the family were staying gave his dad a day pass so he could spend the day them.
But during a snorkelling session with his granddaughters, he suffered a heart attack.
He was admitted to the same hospital his son had been discharged from three days earlier and had to extend his stay on the island by a month before he was medically fit to fly.
Though the family had insurance, they had to pay their medical bills upfront, before being refunded.
Maths teacher Emily, 42, said: “What we hoped would be a well-earned holiday of a lifetime in paradise, ended up being a being any families worst nightmare with three family members receiving emergency medical treatment.
“Unless it happened to us, I think I’d still struggle to believe it was true. The experience has made us realise how lucky we are to have the NHS.
“I hope that our story will help others avoid a similar situation. Make sure you have credit cards with sufficient funds available in case of emergency and give consent to the insurance company to gain access to your medical records before you travel in case you find yourself in a situation where you can’t.”