Bout of Bali belly turns into $80k holiday hell 


Perth couple Darrell Haddock and Jodi Llanwarne’s idyllic Bali holiday became a 10-week horror ordeal after Darrell caught a mystery parasite. 

Having visited Bali numerous times, Darrell, who had never so much as suffered from Bali belly was struck by a debilitating gastrointestinal illness. 

Darrell Haddock

Darrell Haddock and Jody Llanwarne at the start of their holiday.

“We arrived in Bali on Saturday, and I became unwell on Wednesday. I thought, so this was the Bali belly everyone talks about. Obviously not,” Darrell jokes. 

Jodi recalls a sense of foreboding as Darrell’s condition worsened, particularly as the couple were isolated and hours away from the nearest medical facility.  

“I tried to look after him the usual way you would with gastro, but couldn’t do much being in a foreign country,” she says. “I'd never known him to be so lethargic. You couldn’t put your finger on him without him crying out in pain. His eyes were rolling around, he would just lay there and go back to sleep. It was very scary!” 

As Darrell’s symptoms progressed, the couple made their way to Siloam hospital, by which stage Darrell's condition was far worse and he was unable to walk and had gone into renal failure.  

Tests revealed that a parasitic infection had caused Darrell’s bowels to become severely inflamed. It was later discovered that his bowel had perforated, and he would require lifesaving surgery. 

Darrell Haddock 2

Darrell in Siloam hospital, prior to his surgery 

Thankfully, Darrell’s surgery was successful, but it would take weeks before he was able to be discharged from hospital. 

“I had to learn to walk again because I couldn't walk and had lost 20 kilos,” says Darrell. “And I couldn't talk properly because I’d had the tube down my throat for two weeks.” 


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"Don't travel without Insurance"

Darrell Haddock

Darrell in recovery.

Jodi and Darrell say they can’t imagine not having insurance under their circumstances. All in all, Darrell’s medical and additional expenses have cost upwards of $80,000, a price the couple would not have been able to afford. 

“We paid about $340 for our travel insurance, which saved me $80,000. 

“People think they’re invincible. Why would you not buy travel insurance and risk having to pay out tens of thousands of dollars. I just can't understand the logic of it, I really can't,” says Darrell. 

Despite a bumpy recovery, Darrell and Jodi are already planning their return to Bali. 

Why you need travel insurance

Time and time again unforeseen medical situations quickly go from minor symptoms to major medical events. Even a few nights in hospital can easily run into the thousands of dollars. Finding yourself on holiday without cover is not a fun situation any Australian should wish to find themselves in. Take Darrell’s story as a lesson, that a few dollars on a travel insurance policy really can save you thousands.

It’s a small price to pay for peace of mind.



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