Teen traumatised after falling ill on "holiday from hell"

AOL Travel

A teenager's recovery from post-traumatic stress syndrome after a holiday from hell has been hampered by the long legal battle against a travel firm.

The Sunday Sun reports that Sophie Hopper launched action against Thomas Cook 18 months ago after a sickness bug outbreak at their luxury Egyptian resort ruined their dream holiday.

Sophie, of County Durham, travelled to the resort in Sharm El Sheikh with her parents, brother and sister, as well as her uncle, aunt and cousin.

The family had visited the resort before but claim standards had fallen, with seven of the group becoming severely ill with gastric vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.

Sophie, 18, spent four days on a drip in the hotel and when she recovered, pleaded with her mother to fly her home.

The Hoppers enlisted help from solicitors Irwin Mitchell, but there has been no progress with the case.

According to the Sunday Sun, since returning, Sophie's fear of catching germs has made her practically housebound and she no longer attends college, claiming that she cannot make progress until the legal case does.

Sophie told the newspaper: "I'm convinced I'm going to catch something when I'm around other people. I just feel I have to get away, that I will die if I do get something. I am having counselling but I think getting the court case sorted would help me."

Her mum Donna, 41, said: "This could take years but we just want to get Sophie straight.

"We went to Rhodes on holiday last year but Sophie refused to come, and whenever we called home all she'd ask about was whether anyone had been poorly. I can't see her going on holiday again until she's sorted.

"The longer it goes on the worse it gets. It's an irrational fear but very real to her."

In 2011, travel law specialist Rajbir Somel at Irwin Mitchell, said: "The entire experience is completely unacceptable and we just hope that Thomas Cook will work with us to ensure that Sophie receives the best treatment possible and so the two families can put this truly awful experience behind them.'

A spokesman for Thomas Cook UK & Ireland told the Sunday Sun: "We are currently undertaking a thorough investigation with the hotel and our resort team."

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