Daughter of couple who died on holiday after hotel room next door was ‘fumigated’ speaks out
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The grieving daughter of a couple who died on holiday after their hotel room next door was 'fumigated' has spoken out about the devastating ordeal.
British couple John Cooper, 69, a builder, and his wife Susan, 63, a cashier at a bureau de change in a Thomas Cook travel agent, from Burnley, Lancashire, tragically passed away 21 August 2018. They were staying at an Egyptian resort in Hurghada called the Steigenberger Aqua Magic Hotel.
The pair were on holiday with their daughter, Kelly Ormerod, and three grandchildren when they died, leading to a three-day inquest at Blackburn Coroner's Court.
The room was treated with the pesticide, referred to as Lambda, in the afternoon, with the Coopers falling seriously ill in the early hours and dying the next day.
Ormerod, a HMRC civil servant, said her parents were fit and healthy for their age and had been enjoying a 'brilliant' holiday before the tragedy struck.
The group left the UK for Egypt on 13 August and, on the evening of 20 August, they all went to the hotel restaurant and a bar, before calling it a night.
Ormerod’s daughter, Molly, who was 12 at the time, was sleeping on a single bed in her grandparents' room, which she said had a 'yeasty smell'.
However, at around 1am in the morning on 21 August, Mr Cooper rang to say Molly was feeling under the weather and he escorted his granddaughter to her mother’s room in an upper floor.
The next morning, both Mr and Mrs Cooper didn't show up for breakfast, so Ormerod went to their ground floor room, 5107, to discover the pair were seriously ill.
She recalled her father came to the door and said: "I really don't feel well," while retching.
"He just literally slumped and sat on the corner of the bed and said: 'I’m really not well,'" Ormerod told the hearing.
She also told the hearing her mother was in bed, 'groaning' with vomit in her hair and around the room, where she noticed a strange 'heavy' smell.
Two doctors were called but were in 'panic mode', Ormerod went on, and explained that her parents' health only worsened leaving her father unable to breathe properly.
"His eyes kind of… a glazed, staring look," she added.
While CPR was attempted, Mr Cooper was eventually declared dead on the hotel room floor.
According to the inquest, his wife was then rushed to a a clinic at the hotel where she became 'super agitated' and delirious.
She was then taken to hospital by ambulance but declared dead at 4.12pm.
Since then, Ormerod has opened up about the horrific situation outside of court and revealed their family 'has been broken' since her parents’ death.
She explained: "To go on a family holiday, full of the joys and excitement of spending quality time together, to then be faced with the heartrending events that happened will never be forgotten.
"To this day our family struggles to comprehend what happened. It should never have been allowed to happen."
Ormerod added that she was left with 'many unanswered questions' and that the family will 'never fully come to terms with losing them the way we did'.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence, contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677