A DREAM trip to Egypt turned into a holiday from hell for the Martin family after they were all struck down by illness.
The family, from Castletown, are one of more than 120 people across the country who are suing tour operators First Choice after contracting cryptosporidium, a form of food poisoning.
Dad Christopher, 32, was the worst affected in the family and was ill with sickness for weeks after developing symptoms while on holiday in July.
Christopher, a dad-of-two, said: “It was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime, but it ended up being the holiday from hell.”
Self-employed Christopher, who works in the carpet trade, and wife Sharon, 32, spent £3,000 on a trip to the Holiday Village Red Sea resort, Sharm El Sheikh, with children Millie, six, and Joshua, five.
But they say the 10-day trip was ruined by the bacterial infection, which along with E-coli, shigella and salmonella, has affected dozens of families who have visited the resort.
Christopher said: “I first became ill about four days into the holiday. I felt sick and from then on couldn’t keep anything down for the rest of the holiday.
“I felt so ill and it totally ruined the holiday to the point where it has put me off going away again. When we came back all the family were ill and I was sick for about two to three weeks.
“We went to the GP and the next day environmental health knocked on the door. That’s when we realised how dangerous it was.”
The Martins, along with dozens of other families, are now seeking compensation.
Christopher added: “First Choice shouldn’t be selling this holiday until it is sorted.”
Nick Harris, head of holiday and travel law at Simpson Millar Solicitors, who are representing the Martin family, said: “More than 120 holidaymakers have come to us for help after returning with extremely serious bacterial infections.
“Despite the flood of complaints, First Choice continues to allow its customers to travel there.
“The resort requires a serious overhaul to health, safety and hygiene standards before welcoming any more holidaymakers.”
A spokeswoman from First Choice said: “All the hotels to which First Choice operate are closely monitored to ensure the highest health, safety and comfort levels are maintained.
“In addition to this, an independent hygiene consultant is retained to work in collaboration with the First Choice team at the Holiday Village Red Sea.
“First Choice can confirm that its legal team continues to try and resolve the unfortunate matter of customer illness with the law firm directly
“We would like to clarify however, that reports of sickness at the property during 2010 were minimal. First Choice will continue to do everything it can to ensure all customers have a safe and enjoyable holiday at the Holiday Village Red Sea.”