Brit baby left a triple-amputee after cruise staff ‘ignored meningitis symptoms’

The parents of a British baby who had three limbs amputated after getting sick on a cruise ship are suing the company.

Phoebe Moon went on her very first holiday in February, flying to Miami and boarding the Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas.

"We had never taken her away before and we thought we would have the time of our lives in America, but sadly, it didn't turn out that way," mum Aimee Moon told NBC.

But the nine-month-old became ill once on board and her health rapidly declined over the course of a single day.

Mrs Moon claims every time she and husband Luke took Phoebe down to the ship's infirmary, they were sent back to their cabin with no assistance. When they refused to leave, staff gave them antibiotics.

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The Moon family managed to disembark midway through the cruise in St Martin to get medical help for Phoebe.

"When we got to St. Martin's hospital, they said they've got about 15 minutes to save her life," Mr Moon said.

"They said prepare for the worst because she's very sick."

Phoebe had contracted a severe form of meningitis, and doctors didn't think she'd survive for long. Her little hands, feet and legs were swollen and purple.

The family flew to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where Phoebe's left hand and both feet were amputated to save her life.

Now the Moons have filed a lawsuit against Royal Caribbean in Miami, alleging the cruise line's doctors misdiagnosed Phoebe with "a stomach bug".

The lawsuit claims it should have been obvious the baby had "classic signs of a life-threatening meningococcal meningitis infection," including being lethargic and a high fever of almost 104F (40C).

Attorney Thomas Scolaro, who is representing the family, told NBC 6: "This would otherwise be the world's most horrific case of medical negligence and damage to the world's sweetest little child, but it gets substantially worse."

He says Royal Caribbean is trying to get the case dismissed in Miami so that it's heard in the UK, limiting the Moons' potential payout.

The company's terms and conditions say that customers must agree that any litigation be redirected to the courts of England and Wales.

While there are no monetary limits on payouts in Florida, the UK limit is about £900,000 for the heartbroken family, who are having to pat for extensive treatment for Phoebe.

"Even now all she wants to do is get down and walk you and it's so difficult that she is unable to do that, and these challenges are just going to get harder as she gets older," Mrs Moon said.

"We were always under the impression that the medical facilities and staff on a ship were world class and world leading," Mr Moon added.

"We now think that isn't the case. You are on your own at sea."

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean told NBC: "Our thoughts are with the family during this challenging time. We do not comment on pending litigation."

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