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Nurse, 51, suffers horrific burns ‘after Ryanair stewardess spilled hot tea down her leg’ on flight to Budapest
Val Tredget, 51, is concerned she may be left with permanent scarring after the burn
A nurse left badly scarred when a Ryanair stewardess spilled hot tea on her leg has criticised the airline for ‘shambolic’ attempts at first aid.
Val Tredget says she was left howling in agony when an inexperienced airline host knocked a cup of tea over her leg as she sat between her sisters on a flight to Budapest.
The 51-year-old claims she begged staff to take action and they were clueless, but the Irish airline denies this, and says the nurse was given full treatment.
Ms Tredget claims staff were clueless – handing her a pile of dry blue paper towels before getting a sick bag with cubes of ice, in instead of supplying as much cool water as possible.
A Ryanair spokesman said: ‘These claims are untrue. All hot drinks on board Ryanair flights are served in fully sealed cups with lids securely fixed before being served to customers, and our crew have confirmed this procedure was correctly followed in this case.
‘The customer in question received first aid from our cabin crew including ice, healing gels and a dressing, and declined the crew’s offer of further medical assistance, or being met on arrival by paramedics in Budapest.’
Ms Tredget was left with skin peeling off her leg as it blistered, leaving her badly scarred.
The mother-of-two from Chelmsford, Essex, complained to the Irish firm’s head office and sent a series of gruesome photos of her injuries.
But she was left fuming after Ryanair wrote to her insisting she was responsible for the spill, even sending her a ‘patronising’ e-mail telling her to take more care with hot drinks.
Ms Tredget has now taken advice from a senior solicitor and plans to take legal action against the firm.
A stewardess spilled a cup of hot tea on the nurse’s leg, leaving her with blisters and causing her skin to peel off
Left, Ms Tredget on the holiday to Budapest, and right, at home. She said she couldn’t do as much while away, like go to the spas, because of her dressings
‘They didn’t actually have tea with them on the trolley so the girl went to get it – she passed me one and I gave it to my sister, she gave me a second one and then went to put down the third for the aisle seat but missed the little cut out in the tray and the tea fell over and went all down my leg.
‘None of us even touched the cup – she was putting it down. I jumped up and screamed “that’s really hot”.
‘A male flight attendant came down the plane and asked what happened and the stewardess said “it was hot water from the urn”.
‘She’d just been to the back of the plane and made it.
‘I pulled the trouser leg up and said “look it’s blistering already, I need water. I am a nurse I know what’s needed”.
‘She just looked at me – I said you need to pour water on it. She ran off to the back of the plane and came back with a handful of blue paper towels and said “here, use them all”.
‘I am not quite sure what she thought they would be good for – perhaps she wanted me to clean the plane up.’
Ms Tredget said her holiday to Budapest was ruined because she had to keep changing her dressings and attending to her injuries
According to the airline, Ms Tredget was given ice and healing gels and denied an offer of medical assistance when she got off the plane
Ms Tredget looked on in horror as her leg continued to blister with the skin peeling off due, she says to the lack of appropriate action to tackle the scalding.
Paediatric nurse Ms Tredget was then taken to the back of the plane as the stewardess applied some cooling gel dressing meant for burns.
She said: ‘By now a few minutes had passed – you need to treat a burn instantly and the longer you leave it, it carries on burning and just gets worse.’
She desperately tried to ease the pain by soaking the blue towels in water from the sink but found the water was warm so could not help.
When she returned to her seat the stewardess then brought her some ice – in one of the plane’s sick bags.
She said: ‘I just wanted to cool the burn down but later on when I asked for more ice she said “you will have to wait until I have finished serving”.
Ms Tredget shared images on Facebook of her injuries when the airline took their time to reply to her letter
The letter Ryanair sent the nurse, telling her they believe she caused the spill by taking hold of the cup by the lid
‘I think they were more interested in selling their duty free and their scratch cards and not really interested in doing anything about my leg. It was shambolic.
‘Finally at the end of the flight the head stewardess came over and said “which one of you was it that was injured?” She then said “I’m really sorry” and walked away and that was it.
‘She should have been taking the lead.
‘Their first aid training must be rubbish – apparently this is the most common accident you get on planes so they should have better training.’
The sisters’ weekend away was ruined by the ordeal.
‘I was having to change my dressings twice a day and the burns were already oozing a lot.
‘Budapest is famous for its spas but of course we could not go and do anything like that. It ruined my weekend,’ she added.
Ms Tredget, who qualified as a nurse in 1984, has taken specialist advice and hopes the dark red scars will fade during the next couple of years.
‘I do wear a lot of dresses so the scarring – which is above my knee – is visible all the time. It’s just not nice.
She and her sisters flew from London Stansted to Budapest on Friday June 2.
She’s now called on the company, run by chief executive Michael O’Leary, to overhaul its first aid procedures.
‘Accidents happen and I accept that but if that had been a baby on the end of that spill, it would have been catastrophic.
‘I just want them to do something so that this does not happen to someone else.’
‘They also have to review their first aid – why don’t they have a simple thing that if someone wants a hot drink on a plane? They should have cups with a screw-on lids.
Ms Tredget claims she was not given proper first aid, but was just handed dry blue paper towels, which she then had to soak in lukewarm water
Ryanair were sent all of Ms Tredget’s photos but despite two messages of complaint on their website, she was left waiting for weeks for a response.
Val is married to engineer husband Kevin, 54, and the couple have two children – Jack, 23, and Abbey, 21.
Her sister, Joyce Thorpe, 64, was also covered in the hot tea but did not suffer injuries as she was wearing thick trousers.
She said: ‘I have a feeling that lid was not properly on really.
‘She’d [the stewardess] come from the back of the plane because lots of people round us were not having hot drinks.
‘I don’t think the lid was on properly at all.’
Ms Thorpe, a retired special needs teacher, flies around the world as a volunteer for blind and visually impaired travellers going on holidays.
The grandmother-of-one from Altrincham, Greater Manchester, slammed Ryanair for its version of events, and added ‘I am just appalled that they are calling Val a liar.’