This testimony is from an email received by the Aerotoxic Association in 2008. This passenger has been suffering ill health since a honeymoon holiday flight to Bangkok in 2002.
Sent: 22 April 2008 10:05
To: John Hoyte
I imagine this morning you are possibly inundated with emails after Panoroma's programme last night. I wanted to tell you my story for help with others and thank you for your site. For six years I have been laughed at and ridiculed by doctors for saying that a flight caused my illness. I feel sorry for other people affected as it has since ruined my life. Last night however you could not imagine my relief to find out I am not the only person suffering and there is somewhere people can discuss issues and find some help.
I got on a BA flight 09 to Bangkok on the 23rd of September 2002 for my honeymoon. As the flight progressed there was a strange smell on the airplane, I put it down to normal airline fumes. I became sick before the end of the flight but managed to depart to our hotel in Bangkok where I later collapsed and spent an evening in bed with flu like symptoms and breathing difficulties. We continued our holiday but for the whole period I was quite sick, we returned home where I was hospitalised due to passing out and breathing difficulties. The hospital could find no reason for my illness so told me to go home and rest. Up until this flight I had relatively excellent health and no major issues.
For the next six months I found it difficult to perform basic functions and spent the majority of this time on my couch unable to move with extreme fatigue and pain, fortunately I had private medical health care and was referred for a barrage of tests including, thyroid function, MRI, allergy tests, lung function tests and tests on my hands and arms as I experienced numbness in my hands and arms on occasion. The doctor at the time concluded it was a viral infection and put me on a huge dose of antibiotics, which made me severely ill and failed to improve my symptoms. I still suffered severely for the next year to a point where my doctor told me there was nothing they could do and to stop bothering the surgery every time I had breathing difficulties, on many occasions I actually felt like I was dying.
After 18 months or so I seemed to get a break from the illness for no apparent reason and managed to perform daily functions again, not to my original full capacity but enough to have some quality of life. My employer at the time was exceptional and was not fazed by my constant sleeping on the job and days off, as I started to feel better he asked me to go to New York to a search engine conference. I got on the flight and in New York, collapsed again and had to fly straight back to the UK, where I ended up in hospital again. The hospital concluded I had ME/CFS and sent me home.
I can no longer be totally accurate regarding timescales but the above is to the best of my knowledge, my memory since the flight to Bangkok has been severely impaired.
To cut a long story short I am now in year six of being ill, sometimes I have good days but most are bad. I suffer daily from pain all over my body(flu like pain), sleep problems, itching, headaches, memory problems, vision issues and dizziness. I cannot fly often, even short flights set off the worst relapses of health but now lifts have the same affects and being a passenger in the car on occasion.
Over the last six years it has upset me that they could not find out what was wrong with me. I continually insisted it was the flight that had made me ill only to be laughed at by the majority of health professionals. I am only 33 and feel like my life has been ruined.
I hope there is some recognition for what they have done and possibly the thousands of lives they have affected. Have there been any successful claims cases against the airlines or manufactures? Thank you for the site, I will check back regularly for updates.