Holiday dramas in Tenerife…


IMG_3618Well it all started with a lovely holiday in Tenerife at a spa hotel where I actually met some of our lovely QVC viewers as well – we were all having facials at the same time.

The pool was lovely, the private beach was lovely, the restaurant was lovely, everything was lovely! The beds were comfortable, the bathroom was lovely and large, and I unpacked all of my cosmetics including new products I had taken with me to test out.

You can tell everything was going very smoothly – the perfect start to my holiday but it stopped there. Simon's back unfortunately got stiffer and sorer as the holiday went on so much so that it came to "do you want room service or can you make it to the restaurant", "which sun lounger can you make it to", "how far can you walk today".

Simon was on anti-inflammatories and we had taken a hot water bottle and I asked for a kettle from room service that I could fill the water bottle every few hours for his back. I was massaging his back, but nothing was working!

IMG_3619Simon didn’t even play golf, he didn’t do anything, he couldn’t do anything, he was in pain all the time. We were meant to fly back on the Tuesday; I got out of bed on Monday morning, he went to get out of bed on Monday morning and his back locked! 

He was literally screaming and crying and he was stuck in that position for six hours. Two doctors came to give him painkilling injections, tablets, everything but they weren’t touching the pain. We then had to go to hospital. In hospital we went up to go into the accident and emergency department where Simon and I were separated.

I could hear him screaming in pain and I was so irate that they hadn't given him a doctor that they put an armed guard on me! A few days later the armed guard and the translator decided that they quite liked me actually but on that day on the Monday night, they didn't!

Can I just recommend to everyone you must always travel with holiday insurance which luckily we had, because it’s not until you need you realise just how good it is. They were excellent and I also must commend the translators in the hospital who were excellent – I will not commend anyone else on the planet, no one else was helpful.

A catalogue of disasters

IMG_3622I had to sort out all of the luggage, I had to change hotels, the hospital food was terrible – I could go on. Simon was completely immobile so I was with him for 18 hours each day. He had CT scans, x-rays, MRA scans etc.

Simon is actually carrying a football injury from when he played for England, he's actually got a large amount of titanium in his back, so there we no clear pictures which I told them they wouldn’t get a clear picture! They couldn’t actually do a diagnosis in Tenerife, so in the end I finally got the agreement to airlift Simon home. 

We had to come back on a private jet because of the back injury being so serious – he's on a body board so we needed to have 13 seats of a normal aeroplane. There wasn’t a direct flight that could give us 13 seats and the insurance did agree that he couldn’t go via the Zurich flight that took 12 hours with a stop over. On Friday morning the insurance agreed that because there was no easy way to get him back now on normal aircraft that they would authorise a private jet.

It was rather helpful that the boss of the insurance company recognised Simon's name and is a life long Crystal Palace fan and Simon Rodger is his all time favourite player. The authority I think was made a little bit easier by that.

I was told we couldn’t take our luggage back because the jet wouldn’t have enough room (poor Kylie where she puts her dresses I don’t know). I then had to get everything packed up and sorted to fly home in a Lear jet 35A for anyone who is a plane techie.

IMG_3621We had a doctor and a nurse who were flown out from Germany which is where most of the airlifting is based. There was Doctor Klause who was introduced to me as the 'top chef' in the hospital because Anna the nurse's English wasn't that great.

It turns out he was the ex chief of surgery at a German hospital but he’s retired now. He's 60 but he’s completely able but his hands are too shaky for surgery and now he does rescues all over the world.

Anna was our nurse who was lovely and lived on a farm, so you know what we spoke about and had photos of. She had six horses, all rescue horses, a Rottweiler and another rescue dog so the whole flight and communication was absolutely fine.

The Lear jet was really smooth, it kept warning me that it was going to be really tiny but actually it was really comfortable – it's got leather seats and mahogany tables. Simon was laid on a stretcher beside me so surprisingly there was a lot of room and it was really comfortable – it was like a Rolls Royce.
Simon is doing okay now. It's going to be a long recovery he's on a cocktail of painkillers and he might need an operation, but he's getting better. Well he must be because he's shopping from his bed!

Phew, I need another holiday after all that drama…

Ali X


  1. Julie Cekalla February 16, 2013 at 6:47 pm -  Reply

    Oh Alison what an absolute nightmare for you both! I’m lying in bed at the mo as my back “went” last night when all I was doing was lifting the hoover! I’ve had probs for many years since slipping a disc in my early twenties (am now 49) so I know how painful acute back pain can be :( I hope that Simon continues to improve, not nice to be so poorly away from home, at least you were there to keep him smiling xx

  2. Jan Hall February 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm -  Reply

    Hi Ali
    Sorry to hear of Simon’s terrible ordeal in Tenerife. What a nightmare for both of you. I hope that he makes a speedy recovery. Take care Alison.
    Love Janet

  3. Carole February 17, 2013 at 12:26 pm -  Reply

    You come across as a bit of a diva! ….i don’t suppose you meant it quite this way. Hope Simon gets better soon.

  4. PAULINE ISON February 18, 2013 at 11:46 am -  Reply

    Hope Simon is improving day by day, he must be patient about it as i slipped a disc and was bed bound for seven months but it really does get better, take care both.XXX

  5. heatheramies February 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm -  Reply

    I think Diva is a little harsh, i really like you and so need your help with my beauty problems, the deepest wrinkles in the world, in spite of all my lovely decleor elemis and gatineau, is there any time you would recommend a peel or microdermabrasion, or should i just keep spending my money on creams and hoping that my wonderful personality will carry me through?
    Give a gentle kiss to Simon for me, but dont lean on him when you kiss him or you will be listening to the screams again! ooh and a kiss for will too, i think Charlie is a lemon not playing the game on your intro on northern nights, silly boy! Great to have you back Alioson x

  6. Carole February 18, 2013 at 7:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi, glad to see you have reworded some if your comments…such a changing “demanded a kettle” to “asked for a kettle”…it reads so much better now.

  7. PAULA JOY WILLIAMS February 21, 2013 at 4:43 am -  Reply

    oh no how awful poor Simon you need to use all your connections from his footballing days.Your right to get insurance, Dad had his bag stolen with his medication and Eurostar tickets in last year when in Switzerland. He got replacement tablets in Switzerland and had to book a flight home it came out of our house insurance.He was looked after by everyone.

  8. Fiona February 22, 2013 at 2:07 pm -  Reply

    Don’t mess with Alison! An armed guard wouldn’t have kept you away from your husband Ms Young! I bet you are sooooo glad to be home. All the best to you both. QVC just isn’t the same without you. X

  9. miss debra hanes February 23, 2013 at 5:14 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,Sounds like a bit of da ja vu listening to your tenerife story.My back went in florida a few years ago i had to have mri scan x rays etc.I couldn’t sit down i had to lay so had to stay for another month until it wasn’t so painful to sit.I wasn’t as lucky with my insurance ( A Express)i didn’t get my costs back at all I would like to pass onto qvc viewers always check your insurance too as there are some small prints.mine was 3 visits to doctors in 5 years complaining of back ache ! no diagnosis was ever found or given.hope simon is out and about soon .who was your insurance company ? I love watching your beauty shows .debra x

  10. m February 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm -  Reply

    You go girl. No one can comment until they are in same position, watching loved one suffer. I would do the same.

  11. Melanie Davis February 28, 2013 at 12:00 am -  Reply

    Hi Alison and Simon , hope your nightmare is over now. Reading your blog brought back memories of our wedding day in Gretna Green in November 2009. I had had a stiff back for a few weeks but on our (secret) wedding morning, I wasn’t sure I was going to get out of bed at all. I was crying, clutching at the sides of the bed and the bedside table, trying to get out of bed. Eventually I managed and our wedding went ahead, although I was having a lot of pain walking and getting in and out of our 4×4 was difficult. After several trips by ambulance to a+e once home, obviously just as useless as those in Tenerife, I finally got an MRI scan at the start of January 2010, which revealed I had 4 prolapsed discs! They were operated on 2 weeks later which although hasn’t cured everything, has helped immensely. I hope that Simon is soon diagnosed and returns to full health. Maybe then you can take another holiday to recover. Wishing you both all the best and a speedy recovery for Simon x

  12. Sally Calam March 7, 2013 at 4:12 pm -  Reply

    ALI – Please HELP as I am so confused re the use of toner. I have always used cleanser toner and moisturiser since I was in my teens. I also always use all three products from the same range and at the moment I use a certain type one month and then alternate the following month with another type as I sometimes think my skin needs something different, at least it seems to work for me! However, having just purchased the perricone TSV and previously SBC they do not mention toners. My other skincare purchases i.e. Elemis, Liz Earle, Time Bomb say yes to toners. Please simplify it for me.

  13. Jacky Edwards March 16, 2013 at 5:57 pm -  Reply

    You weren’t a diva at all Alison!!! Anyone in the same position would have done the same. I’ve been really ill, and I’m truly grateful that I had people who fought for me. I’m so pleased it WAS you Alison, and I’m sure Simon is/was too. I love you as a presenter and you always seem a fun, lovely person. I’m really sorry that you both had to though this ordeal, and Simon’s blessed that he has someone as caring as you to be with him. Diva indeed!!! Love Jacky – who definitely thinks you need another holiday to get over it all.

  14. Alison March 20, 2013 at 1:43 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison,
    I hope Simon is feeling a lot better. I know of your ordeal, my husband had a similar problem, woke up one morning and could not get out of bed in so much pain. After many attempts to get him out of bed and onto a lifting chair and plenty of Morphine we got him to hospital, had to stay in hospital for about a week, we were lucky that the hospital he was at was where I was working, so before work, during break times and after work I was able to wash him, feed him and try and keep his spirits up because the boredom of being stuck on your back for a week was taking its toll. Best of luck, and hope Simon is up and around soon so you can have that relaxing holiday you were looking for.
    Best wishes to you both.

  15. Jill March 27, 2013 at 11:27 pm -  Reply

    Hi Alison!
    Just wondering how your Simon is now? Hope his back is much better and that you both enjoy a lovely Easter weekend. Will you be spending it in LA, or will you be home by then? Don’t blame you if you tag on a few days holiday while you are there to make up for the days you lost!

  16. Linda Dennis March 30, 2013 at 1:05 am -  Reply

    As you now have QVC Beauty channel why is it that there seems to be even more TSV for beauty products taking up shows more than ever. It doesn’t seem fair to the guys or the girls that find beauty hours boring and too expensive. Especially when you have a channel specifically for beauty.

  17. lynda ross April 8, 2013 at 11:55 pm -  Reply

    A,Ilison. I am sorry ,but I had to laugh, I was reading about your nightmare and all the messages your ladies had sent you about their back troubles “AND SIMONS” then in the middle of the messages,this lady ask you if she should use a toner after her perricone cleanser,I had to laugh,so tell Simon he was not the only one with a crisis,DOES SHE NEED A TONER ALISON!Hope your on the mend Simon.LOTS OF LOVE.LYNN.

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