Connect with us


UPDATE: Phuket pad thai blamed for putting Perth couple out of action for two years




A Perth couple, Stacey Barnes and her husband Ryan Prigg, who ran their personal wellbeing business, ended up unwell for nearly two years, because of a debilitating parasite that they say they caught whilst holidaying in Thailand in 2017.

The have blamed the incident on a rogue plate of pad thai they ate at a food court at an ‘upmarket’ shopping centre in Phuket (not named). The couple paid A$6 per plate, about 130 baht.

Pad thai, or phad thai, is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at most restaurants in Thailand.

They were staying at a “6 star” hotel in Kata, a popular west coast resort beach south of Patong, during their stay. They said the first four days of their stay was ‘perfect’ – sightseeing, hiking and swimming in their private pool attached to their villa – according to the report.

“Everything was perfect, we didn’t eat on the streets or go anywhere risky, everything seemed perfect,” said Stacey.

But everything came crashing down when they started feeling ill at their hotel that night.

“Ryan and I both came down with fevers, we knew something wasn’t right.”

The couple reported that they were sweating, “had the shakes” and realised they had contracted some form of food poisoning. They urgently booked the first flight they could get out of Phuket and returned home, very ill and frantic to find out what was wrong with them.

Eventually, long after their arrival back in Perth, Australia, the ‘bug’ was diagnosed as a tiny parasite – Dientamoeba fragilis – which had located itself in their intestines, and, they claimed, ruined their health and the business they were working so hard to build.

They claimed the parasite left them feeling “like zombies” and impacted on their ability to work even making it difficult for them to get out of bed in the mornings. They say some of the side-effects of the parasite gave them wild swings of constipation then extreme diarrhoea. Stacey says they also developed cold sores on their faces and ulcers in their mouths.

Back in Perth they did the rounds of local GPs (general practitioners) in desperation to regain their health. Stacey says they visited three doctors who were unable to identify the cause of their fatigue and illness. One doctor told them… “You’ll just have to learn to live with it.”

“I thought to myself… If I have to live with this, it’s not worth living at all because this was not OK,” she told

“I was parenting, we were trying to keep our business alive, and I was working full-time every day with this parasite inside of me.”

But last November, Stacey and Ryan finally found a doctor who was a specialist in digestive parasites and they were final able to get some answers and a proper diagnosis. The doctor diagnosed the problem as “Dientamoeba fragilis” and prescribed antibiotics, iron transfusions, vitamin supplements and probiotics.

“Once we had the infusion, it was like someone had switched us back on and we were ourselves again.”

Stacey and Ryan, now full recovered, swear they will never visit Asian countries again but want their experience to serve as a warning to others, that “these things can and do happen”.

“People get ‘Bali Belly’ and come home and think it’s all good, but that changes your entire gut bacteria for the rest of your life.”

Stacey said the experience forced them to put their business on hold for 10 months – one little parasite changed their lives.

“This had a massive impact on our family and changed the course of our life forever.”


UPDATE: Phuket pad thai blamed for putting Perth couple out of action for two years | News by Thaiger


Want more from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand31 mins ago

Dogs from Thailand and more than 100 countries banned from US due to risk of rabies

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Bangkok elderly can register for vaccine

Thailand1 hour ago

“Bubble and seal” method to contain outbreaks at factories, keep business afloat

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand2 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Samui quiet/flights/reopening, Thailand’s botched vaccine roll out

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Thai government says vaccine rollout is going “according to plan”

Thailand3 hours ago

Taxi driver attacks woman at bus stop, has a history of violence

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Vaccine registration website for expats back up after data leak

Politics3 hours ago

Thai PM ignores demands to step down, insists he’s going nowhere

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

First Thai Covid-19 vaccine proceeds to human trials

Crime4 hours ago

Police officers, prosecutors may be investigated over acquittal of Red Bull heir

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 3,000 new cases and 19 deaths

Pattaya4 hours ago

Pattaya tourism operators not getting their hopes up over foreign arrivals

Tourism5 hours ago

Airlines look to vaccine rollout to restore demand and boost economy

Myanmar17 hours ago

Burmese military media outlets say ethnic army killed 25 workers

Thailand19 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says drug suppression should to be a national priority

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8