One teenager's dream cruise turned into anything but when she was left fighting for her life after coming down with a bug on board.
Chelsea Rose Cartwright, 18, spent Christmas in hospital after the virus developed into septicaemia.
The student was meant to be a bridesmaid at her father's wedding during the Mediterranean cruise, but only managed 20 minutes at the ceremony before having to take to her cabin bed.
She has spent over a month in hospital, and her family said she was, at one point, fighting for her life.
Chelsea was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary after the P&O liner docked in Southampton on 22 November following ten days at sea.
She was treated in the Intensive Care Unit before being transferred to the Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield, where she remains today.
Her mum Claire, 37, told the Doncaster Free Press: "When I met her off the cruise I could not believe that was my daughter.
"She could barely talk and could not walk. Her condition got worse and it got so bad at one stage we feared we may lose her."
She added that Chelsea had undergone two six-pint blood transfusions.
"The septicemia had stopped her bone marrow from functioning and she had a low white blood cell count.
"The doctors still don't know what the initial bug was.
"Thankfully she is starting to improve slowly, but they think she will be in hospital for another month."
The family said it was a particularly difficult holiday season as it marked the second Christmas without Chelsea's cousin Matthew, eight, who drowned in a canal in August 2011.
P&O was unavailable for comment.
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