Ex-soldier from Leeds 'strapped to hospital bed' in Benidorm after fall on 'nightmare holiday'

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An ex-soldier from Leeds was 'strapped to a hospital bed' in Benidorm after a fall on a 'nightmare holiday', his disgusted wife claimed.

Dianne Winterburn, 74, and her husband of 25 years John, 78, flew to the Medplaya Hotel Flamingo Oasis in Benidorm on December 10, 2019, for their annual trip.

The couple - who have visited the same hotel for over 10 years - were enjoying the first 24 hours of their holiday before disaster struck when John took a fall in the dining room before hitting his head on a concrete plant pot.

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Ex-Royal Tank Regiment soldier John, who suffered a quadruple heart bypass earlier in his life, was taken to the Marina Baixa hospital in Villajoyosa where his speech was slurred but he was in good spirits.

Dianne and John WinterburnDianne and John Winterburn
Dianne and John Winterburn | jpimedia

However, Dianne claimed once at the hospital, John was 'strapped to the bed' and placed in a nappy by doctors despite no obvious reasons why.

She said: "He was kept in the observation room.

"I went back to the hotel room on the first day and the next morning I received a phone call.

"It was from John.

John WinterburnJohn Winterburn
John Winterburn | jpimedia

"He said they had moved him to another room with straps attached to the bed.

"I couldn't believe it.

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"They put him in a bed nappy and gave him a drug which is only given to psychotic patients.

"His speech was slurred but that was because of the fall."

John WinterburnJohn Winterburn
John Winterburn | jpimedia

Dianne told the YEP when she returned to the hospital she couldn't believe her eyes when she found her husband strapped to the bed - across his wrists, feet and body.

She added: "How degrading was this for him?

"He is an ex soldier.

"It was disgusting."

Dianne and John WinterburnDianne and John Winterburn
Dianne and John Winterburn | jpimedia

It was at the hospital the couple realised only Dianne was covered by travel insurance.

Helpless Dianne spent the following ten days taxiing from the hotel to the clinic back and forth - amassing huge bills on transport which cost up to 30 euros a day.

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She spoon-fed John each day in the hospital and spent almost the entire holiday by his bedside.

The couple's nightmare ordeal only came to an end when their son Craig Waite, from Garforth, flew over to help return John home.

Dianne said: "My son Craig is a hero.

"He flew over from Leeds to save us.

John WinterburnJohn Winterburn
John Winterburn | jpimedia

"I am so grateful."

Dianne claimed John was taken by ambulance from hospital to the airport, however the original planned flight was delayed and Dianne described chaos in the terminal.

She said: "It was so busy, there was so many people.

"John was in a wheelchair and there must have been 30 other people there in similar positions, we couldn't move.

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"When we finally got on the plane it was an older model which was not very good.

"It really was a holiday from hell."

John was flown back to Leeds where he was rushed into Leeds General Infirmary before being moved to St James Hospital, Dianne told the YEP.

Dianne said, with the incredible work of the two Leeds hospitals, John is slowly recovering from his injuries.

She has now urged everyone to ensure they have full travel insurance before going on holiday and not to replicate their horrific experience.

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In a plea to YEP readers, Dianne said: "Please, everyone, do not fly to Spain without the right travel insurance, or you could end up like John did.

"With the help of both hospitals here in Leeds, he is slowly getting better.

"Don't do what we did and be left repaying money spent to return John home."

The YEP has approached the Foreign Commonwealth Office, Spanish Embassy and the Ministry of Health for Spain for comment.

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