Daughter’s fury after spa hotel ‘REFUSE ENTRY to her elderly mother battling leukaemia’

Daughter's Fury After Spa Hotel 'REFUSE ENTRY To Her Elderly Mother Battling Leukaemia'MERCURY

Marianne Lea was not allowed to stay at the Northamptonshire’s Whittlebury Hall spa

Sue Hurley, from Milton Keynes, hoped to book in for a weekend stay involving dinner and use of the spa facilities. But after informing staff her mother had recently had chemotherapy, she claims her booking was declined. Despite the 49-year-old confirming her mum Marianne Lea would not be needing any beauty treatments – most of which are not suitable for chemotherapy patients – she said the spa still denied their visit.

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I wanted Mum to start enjoying life again

Sue Hurley

Devastated Ms Hurley said she will never visit Northamptonshire’s Whittlebury Hall hotel again, after being left feeling that her mum was “contagious”. Ms Hurley, an events manager, said: “I’ve used the spa many times before with girlfriends on spa days. I thought it would be a treat to take my mum after everything she’s been through.

“I checked the date was available and when I went to pre-book our treatments, the first option was a massage. Initially I asked whether my mum could have a pedicure or manicure instead, because chemo patients can’t have massages.

Daughter's Fury After Spa Hotel 'REFUSE ENTRY To Her Elderly Mother Battling Leukaemia'MERCURY

Sue Hurley is an events manager and had visited the spa many times before

“I was told Mum couldn’t have any treatments at all, which I said was fine, as long as she could still use the spa facilities and have a relaxing day with me.

“I knew she wouldn’t be able to have a massage or use the sauna, but she could still relax with me on the loungers in a dressing gown and feel pampered.

“But the spa staff on the phone said that as she couldn’t use the heat rooms, the sauna or the pool, she wasn’t allowed to come.

“I was so angry and upset. My mum had chemotherapy last July and it pretty much killed her.

“The thing is my mum doesn’t look that ill any more as her hair is growing back, so I could have booked it without even telling them. But I wasn’t going to risk spending 200 only to get kicked out on the day.

“I was so disappointed. I wanted Mum to be able to start enjoying life again.

She’s not contagious, but we were made to feel that way.

Daughter's Fury After Spa Hotel 'REFUSE ENTRY To Her Elderly Mother Battling Leukaemia'MERCURY

Ms Lea was diagnosed with leukaemia last July

“There are so many patients out there who deserve some relaxation. They should be able to enjoy things like spa days.”

Her mother Marianne, 72, was first diagnosed with leukaemia last July after a routine blood test. When her first round of chemotherapy left her doubly incontinent and with organ failure, doctors told the family to prepare for the worst. Despite being given just eight weeks to live back in September, Ms Lea then appeared to make a miracle recovery and is now eating, walking and even driving again.

Ms Hurley had hoped to take Ms Lea to the spa this Mother’s Day for some quality time together – but says her plans were ruined. She said: “Mum’s diagnosis was a real shock last year. She began chemotherapy immediately but reacted very badly to it and all of her organs shut down.

“She was on a ventilator for 17 weeks and we didn’t expect her to survive. She fought so hard and after she was sent home to prepare to move into a hospice, she suddenly started to recover.

“She’s still poorly and goes to the Macmillan centre a lot, but her recovery has left all the medics scratching their heads. She really shouldn’t be alive, but somehow she is. She has so much determination.

“We don’t know the prognosis at the moment.

She is classed as being in remission now, as the illness hasn’t gone away but it’s sort of ‘frozen’. She is so remarkable, she couldn’t even lift her hand before but she’s now walking again.

“Because we thought we were going to lose her, Mother’s Day this year was a real bonus. I thought it would be really special to spend the day together, have a meal and stay over at the spa, but it wasn’t to be.”

Daughter's Fury After Spa Hotel 'REFUSE ENTRY To Her Elderly Mother Battling Leukaemia'MERCURY

Ms Hurley wanted to treat her mother to a relaxing day

Michael Stott, director at Whittlebury Hall, said: “As a large, award-winning spa, we have a lot of guests who are suffering from illnesses or have done in the past, so I was shocked to hear one of our staff would deny entry to a chemotherapy patient.

“If someone has said that on our behalf, it is absolutely wrong and I can only apologise.

What we should be saying to people is that anyone who has had cancer treatment needs a doctor’s note to confirm they are OK to visit the spa.

“I would urge this customer to communicate with us and I will fully investigate the matter.

We train our staff to deal with various customers’ needs and requirements, so this should never have been the message that was given across.”

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