We brought back more than memories from Myrtle Beach! 

A warning to anyone before you pick your next hotel and take a dip in the pool… they may not be properly maintained and you could risk getting very sick.
Before I tell you what exactly is wrong with me let me say this.

What started out to be my dream family vacation to celebrate LIFE has turned into a nightmare. More than 10 days after returning home I am still sick. Let me explain why this trip was so so special to me.
This was supposed to be my DREAM vacation. When I was sitting in Johns Hopkins for an entire year and fighting for my life I had a LOT of time to think. I prayed every single day not to die. I prayed to go home to see my son. I promised myself I would go out and make the most amazing memories and not say “we can’t afford this,” but rather enjoy life a little . After all, you can’t take it with you. When I was in pain I would close my eyes and hear waves and see Cesar and I, with Gabriel at our side, renewing our vows. Instead we had every imaginable obstacle possible.  
We never made it on that Caribbean vacation. Passport issues.. which my doctor said was probably best because it is easy to get sick from dirty water overseas. We didn’t make it to Disney ( too many germs) We didn’t fly. (too many germs) We drove. All so we could be SAFE and keep me out of harms way and enjoy quality family time. So we hopped in the car and drove to Myrtle Beach. 
How dangerous could that be? Well, I haven’t been this sick since I was in-patient at Johns Hopkins. For more than a week after we arrived, I couldn’t keep anything down. I cried at night because I was in so much pain. Something felt ‘strange’ in my stomach.  
Picture courtesy caduceus newsletter July 2004

What do I have? According to my world-renowned oncologist at Johns Hopkins and many many tests to confirm this, I contracted cryptosporidium, A PARASITE!! Yes, I have parasites growing in my intestines!!!

How did I get this? My doctor says, in dirty hotel pool.
We knew something went wrong just one day after we arrived when Gabriel got very ill and couldn’t keep anything down and we had to rush him to urgent care. We thought it was just a bug. But this was different. He had no control over himself. He was throwing up and had non-stop diarrhea and a fever. I didn’t post much about it because I truly wanted to remain positive and not complain on what was supposed to originally be a DREAM vacation to celebrate that I was alive. I spent most of the days heart broken and looking at the waves crash from our hotel room.   
Then my husband, Cesar, started feeling sick. He had the same symptoms. He missed work and hasn’t felt the same. 

Then I had a migraine. I felt sick to my stomach. I couldn’t keep food down. I called my Johns Hopkins to report how sick I was and they brought me in for hydration and fluids. They ran many tests and confirmed what I thought. I had a very bad parasite and I needed treatment right away due to my compromised immune system.  

The very strong medicine is very tough to get. I just started it yesterday. I’m thankful and hopeful this will help me. 

This is the LAST thing I need on my long road to recovery. 

I am CRUSHED because that dream vacation NEVER happened. I can say without feeling guilty that after the HELL i lived through I deserved a dream vacation but things don’t go as planned and I am just grateful to be alive.  

But again.. this isn’t about me anymore as I say with all my stories. I am writing on such an embarrassing subject to help raise awareness and help others. Please please be careful when you travel. Be careful when you get into a hotel pool, especially one loaded with kids and water slides etc. You don’t know how well maintained they are. It may not be worth the risk.

Also, please know that parasites can sometimes take 2-10 days to show symptoms after you contract them. Don’t just assume it’s a bad food poisoning and write it off. Call the health department. Call the hotel. Notify people so others don’t get sick.

I have reached out to the hotel. I want to make sure that others are protect and they have a safe place to enjoy their vacation. 

The hotel GM tells me that the company is taking swift action to clean the pool and call in a 3rd party as well to check the levels.

Thank you for allowing me to share such an embarrassing subject but i have promised to be transparent to help others. 
#ArmorUp for LIFE®

Get fit, stay fit and be prepared to fight!!!

BTW… stay tuned for an exciting post next week after I interviewed a well known doctor about what he thinks causes cancer and how you can take steps NOW to try to protect yourself!


Loriana Hernandez