Back to Press Releases

Grandad’s Testicle ‘Explodes’ After Contracting Salmonella on Holiday

Grandad’s Testicle ‘Explodes’ After Contracting Salmonella on Holiday

A grandfather whose testicle expanded to the size of a grapefruit after contracting a rare form of salmonella has told of how his life changed forever after it exploded.

David Worsley, 59, was on holiday in Tunisia with his wife Joanne when he caught African salmonella – a potentially deadly strain of the disease – and had to spend several days in hospital.

It was the holiday from hell and what we have been through was a nightmare. What has happened to me as a result has changed my life.

After returning to the UK he spent weeks of being unable to keep anything down, losing three stone.

But matters were to get even worse when father-of-two David, who lives in Bolton, Lancs started developing an excruciating pain in his genitals and his testicle started to expand.

He was admitted to hospital but allowed to go home – where his testicle “exploded like a volcano”. He then had to have an operation to remove it.

He said: “This has definitely affected me psychologically and I felt down for a long time. It may sound silly but I didn’t feel complete even though the doctors say you can manage without them. In my opinion it’s a big part of being a man that has gone. Another effect is that we didn’t go on holiday abroad for three years and when we did I was terrified it was going to happen again.

“It was the holiday from hell and what we have been through was a nightmare. What has happened to me as a result has changed my life.”

David, who also has two grandchildren, said the problems started just a couple of days into their holiday in Hammamet.

He said: “I started feeling nauseous and really needing the toilet. I was lethargic and had to lie down. I was having hallucinations and drifting in and out of consciousness. The following day I went to the rep and she said that it was just sun stroke and I should drink lots of water. The doctor visited me three times after that before I was admitted to hospital.

“When the ambulance came I felt truly awful. I have been being sick for four days and I was being transferred to a foreign hospital by a paramedic driving like a mad man. It’s about the last thing you want when you go on holiday.”

David, who works as a security guard at Bolton Town Hall, was put on a drip for three days and given antibiotics. He said he lost so much weight during the trip in July 2014 that he was terrified of looking in the mirror.

He said: “When I went away I was looking really healthy and in good shape but a few days of this and I could tell the weight was falling off me. I knew I must look death warmed up and I was scared to look in the mirror. Every time I looked at myself it looked like my face had gone inwards and I looked like an old man. I was 55 at the time but I really didn’t think I would see my 56th birthday. I thought I was going to die.”

Doctors recommended that David stay in Tunisia but he insisted on flying home. After an “awful” flight David was taken to the doctor where he underwent tests.

He said: “I was told that I had a rare form of salmonella called African salmonella. The doctor said I was highly contagious and that I wasn’t allowed to sleep with my wife. They also said they were worried about it getting into my blood and giving me septicaemia.”

David failed to improve over the next few days and woke up with a searing pain in his testicle.

He said: “I woke up at about 5am with the most excruciating pain in my left testicle. I could barely move and I was in tears from the agony. I said to my wife Joanne, I’m really unwell’ and she called the doctor who advised I go into hospital immediately.

“I was in for ten days and the pressure continued to grow. It got so big that I needed to carry it around in my hands. It was the size of a grapefruit. I can’t even begin to explain the pain that I was in. and my temperature was off the scale. I continued to vomit and have diarrhoea but they sent me home after ten days with some antibiotics saying it would clear up and the swelling would go down but it never did.

“When I went back in for an ultrasound they said it had grown even bigger. The doctor told me she had never seen anything like it in her 20 year career.

“Despite this I was sent home again. I got in the bath and it just exploded. It literally went bang and that was it. When the doctor saw it later she said that it was like a volcano exploding. It was leaking so much that I had to get one of my grandchildren’s nappies and put it around it to stop the flow. There was no embarrassment at that point as I just wanted the pain to go away. When it happened I felt like a weight had literally been lifted from me, as I suppose it had. It was almost a relief that it had happened.”

After recovering David went into his local branch of Thomson Holidays to tell them what had happened.

He said: “They just looked at me and said there was nothing they could do about it. Afterwards I started feeling bitter as Joanne had had to care for me for months. She became my carer. That started on holiday so neither she nor I got to enjoy the holiday we paid for. That’s when I decided to take action against them.”

David has now launched a civil action against tour operator TUI.

Hannah Crosby, a specialist travel lawyer from Slater and Gordon, which represents Mr Worsley, said: “Mr Worsley and his wife were looking forward to their trip to Tunisia for a bit of rest and relaxation but what happened, through no fault of their own, changed their lives. David was horrifically sick for months and suffered physical and psychological trauma because of what he was forced to endure. This is without doubt one of the worst holidays from hell I have seen during my time as a travel lawyer.”