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Jaz Lamaya

2 of 2 hotels in Mersa Matruh

1 out of 5 from 1 review
4 stars
Madinat Coraya, Al Qusair - Marsa Allam Rd, Qesm Al Qoseir, Red Sea Governorate, Egypt

1 Review

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Warning: Our 10 year old nearly died after staying in this hotel - please be extremely cautious of 24/7 Medical Services hotel doctors!
1 year 3 months ago
In October 2018, my partner and me spent 15 days in the hotel Jaz LaMaya in Marsa Alam in Egypt with my 10 year old daughter and my parents.

On holiday day 8, my daughter developed diarrhea which didn't worry us all too much - everyone around us seemed to have it. And my parents, as passionate Egypt vacationers, had brought the famous yellow pills along. Two days later, on holiday day 10, my daughter suddenly had blood in her stool. Immediately we visited the hotel GP in a medical practice run by the 24/7 Medical Services group. The doctor on duty took a stool sample, and over the next 48 hours my daughter received high dosages of antibiotics as well as liquids against dehydration over an intravenous drip. All around the clock she had to go to the toilet every 10-15 minutes with severe abdominal cramps. After 2 days of medical treatment, there was still no improvement. On top of bloody diarrhea and relentless cramping, my daughter had now started to vomit and couldn't keep anything in apart from water (not even dry bread). We rang up our GP at home seeking for advice who mentioned a possible E. Coli infection. Increasingly worried, we contacted our travel representative in the morning of holiday day 12 and arranged earlier flights back home for the afternoon of the same day. As we mentioned our plans and our worries concerning a possible E. Coli infection to the hotel doctor during our daughter's next infusion appointment, all of a sudden we wer surrounded by three doctors from 24/7 Medical Services who tried to convince us that we were overreacting. They reassured us repeatedly how they saw cases like our daughter's on a daily basis, how this was a completely harmless infection and that our daughter would be up and running and playing in the pool again by tomorrow. But most importantly, they said that our daughter's stool sample had tested negative of E.Coli! We were so, so relieved! So in the end, because those were doctors after all, because we didn't want to be hysterical parents prematurely curtailing a holiday just because of a harmless belly bug, and because we so much wanted to believe our daughter would be back to normal the next day... we stayed.

In the following 3 days until our departure, my daughter's health condition declined rapidly. As before, she couldn't keep anything down but water and was crying with cramping whilst pooing bloody liquid several times an hour. She became utterly exhausted and more and more apathic, soon she was so weak that she couldn't walk anymore on her own but had to be carried. We spent our last two holiday days carrying her to the toilet and back (often, I just slouched down in front of her for half an hour and held her on the toilet while she was dozing with her head on my shoulder). We were pulling every possible card out of our sleeve to convince her to eat just a little bit of dry bread or steamed vegetable, or to drink some milk or something sugary to give her some energy - every time it resulted in one of us running down to reception because we had run out of towels to wipe up her vomit. Day and night, we went back again and again to see the 24/7 Medical Services doctors, especially once our daughter started complaining about bad side pains. The doctor said this was being caused by her belly cramps and didn't examine any further. He took her blood pressure and temperature every time we saw him, gave her injections against the cramps twice a day, and tried to reassure us my daughter had just a case of enteritis and 'psychological issues' because I was 7 months pregnant at the time. On the day of our departure, the 24/7 Medical Services doctor gave our daughter a last spasmolytic injection to allow us to get unto the airplane. He handed us an envelope with my daughter's medical report (for our travel insurance), reassured us once more my daughter would be fine as soon as she started eating and drinking again (which she hadn't been able to do for days at the time), and we paid the medical bill of 3,000 Euro. At the departure and arrival airports, my daughter had to sit in a wheelchair. Immediately on our arrival home, we took our daughter from the airport straight to a childrens clinic nearby. Two hours later, and 14 hours after the 24/7 Medical Services doctor had reassured us one last time that our child would be fine, she was on an emergency transport to the pediatric intensive care unit of the next university clinic with acute kidney failure and haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). She had to be put on hemodialysis immediately, and the intensive care doctors said it would probably have been to late had we brought her in 24 hours later.

When, in an immediate crisis meeting with the intensive care doctors that night, we worked through the medical report provided by the 24/7 Medical Services doctor, we found that report to be so incomplete that it gave a very wrong picture of what had actually happened. The report was written in a way that, to the reader, it appeared our child's condition had steadily improved. The report ended with holiday day 13, exactly at the point when our daughter had become so much worse. But, most importantly: the report clearly stated that the examination of our child's stool sample had been done 'by eye' only. A bacterial culture had never been created, and an E. Coli infection could not have been excluded like the three 24/7 Medical Services practitioners had reassured us when had intended to end our holiday earlier.

Our 10 year old had to spend 5 weeks at hospital. During this time, she suffered from water retention in her belly, on the lungs and on the heart which had to be drained. She suffered from hypertension, couldn't wee for two weeks and got a urinary catheter, developed a sepsis from the hemodialysis catheter and had another dialysis catheter inserted into her thigh, and finally another one into her belly for peritoneal dialysis. She needed blood transfusions and had to be ventilated because her red blood cells had been destroyed (by the infection as well as through dialysis), she had to have countless cannulas pulled and others inserted into veins that had become so thin and brittle in her arms that they had to insert them into her legs which made her scream with pain. It was the worst time of our lives, dominated by daily meltdowns of a child that had been through too much already, and by parents who were scared to the very depth of their core that their child would have to stay on dialysis and develop secondary conditions that would decrease her quality of life and ultimately cut her lifespan short.

The final medical report states D+ HUS as 'complication of a bacterial foodborne infection'. The diagnosis had to be based on the unequivocal course of disease - the specific pathogens that had caused our daughter's illness could not be identified anymore, with regards to the doctors most likely due to the high doses of antibiotics that the hotel doctors in Egypt had administered in the days before we left (plus, our daughter couldn't provide a stool sample during her first days in intensive care). The typical timeframe between contact with bacteria causing bloody stools (i.e. through contaminated pool water, food or drink) and the outbreak of the symptoms is 3-4 days. Our daughter fell ill (without any pre-existing conditions) 8 days after our arrival at the Jaz Lamaya. Throughout our stay she never left the hotel.

Immediately after our return from Egypt, we'd been talking to the public health department. We also notified our travel operator, the German business FTI, who reassured us they'd 'conduct intensive research with partners at the location in question'. FTI then referred us on to their liability insurance HDI. In the 7 months since, we haven't heard anything back, neither from FTI nor from HDI. On checking back with them every now and again, we haven't been told anything else but that 'the investigations are still ongoing'.

With regards to our personal experiences throughout and after our holiday, we must strongly advise against booking into hotels of the Jaz hotel chain (a side branch of the Steigenberger group) - especially for people traveling with children, to people with a low immune system and to elderly vacationers. We also must recommend particular and extreme caution for anyone receiving treatment through 24/7 Medical Services. With regards to our travel operator at the time, FTI, after '7 months of ongoing investigations' we feel this company lacks basic decency and responsibility towards their clients and, in conclusion, trustworthiness. FTI as travel operator therefore not recommendable either.
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Travel operator: FTI (Germany)

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