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Once in a Lifetime Trip Ruined by Flesh Eating Bug

For most people a backpacking or Longstay trip is a once in a lifetime experience, involving months of saving, planning and preparation. Unfortunately, you can’t always expect or control the effect a holiday disaster can have on your trip, and for one backpacker his holiday became a life-threatening nightmare.

Mr Whiteside, who is aged 25 and from Belfast, was enjoying a dream trip around Asia with his girlfriend when he grazed his knee whilst trekking over Tiger Leaping Gorge in China. He thought nothing of the minor injury until a few days later after he had travelled to Laos, when his leg had turned purple and he started vomiting.

The backpacker was flown to a hospital in Bangkok, where he was diagnosed with Necrotising Fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria which was eating away at the flesh on his leg. It was also found that the infection had spread to his kidneys, and he had developed life-threatening blood poisoning.

He was immediately given strong antibiotics, and taken for surgery to remove the dead tissue from his leg. At one point, doctors were convinced Mr Whiteside would lose his leg, but following multiple surgeries and skin grafts, he is now recovering well in the UK.

Unfortunately the couple did not have travel insurance, so were forced to pay for all the treatment Mr Whiteside received, and have been now created a ‘go fund me’ page in an attempt to raise funds.

Although this is a rare and extreme example, it just goes to show that holiday disasters can happen at any time, so it is absolutely vital that you invest in quality backpacker travel insurance before you depart for any Longstay adventure. Visit for more information.

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