Dad thought baby was 'going to die' after she got hand, foot and mouth disease on Thomas Cook trip to Dominican Republic

A DEVASTATED dad thought his baby was "going to die" after getting hand, foot and mouth disease on a Thomas Cook trip to the Dominican Republic.

Mitchell and Jade Weston, 28, forked out £3,700 for the stay at the plush Grand Bahia Resort with their children Harley, seven, and one-year-old Maddie-Mae.

But the Birmingham parents were forced to endure a nightmarish end to the trip when their daughter had a fit on the last day of their holiday.

"I get teary even now, I thought she would die," Mitchell, 33, told the Sun Online.

"My wife was sitting on the bed and all of a sudden Maddie-Mae started having a seizure, my wife was screaming and I just scooped her up and ran to reception.

"Her whole body was fitting and jumping, she was struggling to breathe, it was so scary."

Her whole body was fitting and jumping, she was struggling to breathe, it was so scary.

An ambulance raced the tot from the resort to the nearest hospital, where she was put on an intravenous drip and treated with antibiotics.

Doctors confirmed Maddie-Mae had suffered an unusual side effect from hand, mouth and foot disease (HDMD), a short-term virus that mostly affects children under the age of ten.

"She's had a bit of back and nappy rash for three or four days but we thought it was just that," said Mitchell.

"Then on our last day we woke up and this happened. I couldn't believe it."

The Westons were forced to delay their return departure by a day and had to navigate a still ailing baby on the nine-hour flight back.


Though Maddie-Mae made a full recovery, her furious parents claim they received no satisfactory explanation or apology from the holiday maker until nearly a year after the June 2018 break.

They were also alarmed after reading in the Sun Online how another baby girl contracted the same disease at the same resort just a month beforehand.

"We definitely wouldn't have gone on the holiday there had we known, absolutely not," said Mitchell.

"We would never have put our child in that danger."

We definitely wouldn't have gone on the holiday there had we known, absolutely not. We would never have put our child in that danger.

The family say they repeatedly contacted Thomas Cook about their experience in June 2018 but only last week received a full response.

But they've refused the £500 offered to them to apologise for the delay.

Mitchell said: "I'm not interested in the money, if things like that are happening we have to make families aware of it."

There were four cases of HFMD reported at the hotel in 2018.

What is hand, foot and mouth disease and who is vulnerable?

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease, or HFMD as it is better known, is caused by a virus.

Symptoms include:

  • high temperature
  • loss of appetite
  • coughing
  • stomach pain
  • ulcers or sores inside or around the mouth
  • a rash or blisters on the hands, feet, legs, or buttocks

Anyone can get the disease, but children under age 10 are most likely to catch it.

These viruses can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with unwashed hands or surfaces contaminated with bacteria.

Medical attention is not usually needed unless:

  • Your child is unable or unwilling to drink fluids
  • Your child has signs of dehydration
  • Your child develops fits, confusion or weakness.
  • The symptoms are getting worse or have not improved after seven to 10 days.


A Thomas Cook spokesperson told the Sun Online: “We were sorry to hear that Mr. Mitchell’s daughter became ill while on holiday at the Grand Bahia Resort.

"We take illness very seriously, however there were extremely low levels of the virus reported at the hotel throughout the whole of 2018 and no spike during their stay.

"We would like to apologise to Mr. Mitchell for the delay in responding and have offered £500 as a goodwill gesture.”

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