Mexborough couple’s relaxing holiday to recuperate from cancer ruined by illness

Robert and Verena Keywood from Mexborough.
Robert and Verena Keywood from Mexborough.

A husband who treated himself and his wife to a luxury cruise to recuperate from throat cancer faced holiday hell after he fell ill with a gastric illness.

Robert and Verena Keywood, from Mexborough, travelled on the Queen Elizabeth Cruise liner, boarding in Singapore and disembarking in Dubai in April this year and have instructed specialist travel lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate the cause of the illness.

Robert, 53, who had undergone radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, started to suffer with symptoms of fever, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, aching in his legs, lack of appetite and severe lethargy whilst onboard the Queen Elizabeth.

The couple report hearing the ship’s captain make an announcement that over 80 passengers were ill on board the ship and now Irwin Mitchell are launching an investigation to find out why passengers fell ill.

Clare Pearson, a specialist International Personal Injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing the couple, said: “Although a number of passengers were reported to have suffered illness during the cruise on board the Queen Elizabeth, Cunard has denied liability for the illness experienced by Mr Keywood and claim that they followed the very strict health and safety guidelines set down for cruise operators to prevent the spread of illness.

“The exact cause of the illness Mr Keywood suffered and whether it was contracted on board the ship has not yet been established and we are now supporting him in his quest for answers as to what caused him to fall ill.

“As part of this investigation we will seek to determine whether more could and should have been done to prevent Mr Keywood from becoming ill.”

Steel Engineer, Robert, said: “This was meant to be a holiday where my wife and I could relax and take it easy. I had been having treatment for throat cancer and we just wanted to get away and enjoy ourselves.

“Whilst onboard we noticed that on occasions some of the food served was lukewarm, the fruit was not always fresh, the pool water was often very dirty looking and a lot of the public toilets which we used we found wouldn’t flush properly, there was also water dripping from the ceilings in the dining rooms and buckets all over the place catching the drips. We were very disappointed to see that the conditions were well below the standard we expected.

“You just don’t expect to get ill when you are booking a holiday. The cruise was only for 10 days but I spent most of it being ill and feeling weak and was still not feeling right when we returned home.”