A relaxing holiday has ended in a life-changing condition for one Queensland mum, who claims she was left deaf in one ear after a “hellish” turbulent flight home.
Joanna Spooner flew back to Brisbane from Hamilton Island on a QantasLink flight with her two children in 2015, when she began to suffer pain in her ears.
After months of pain and visiting eight different doctors to get to the source of the problem, she was diagnosed with barotrauma and perilymph fistula, and was forced to undergo emergency surgery.
“At least half of my hearing has gone,” Joanna told news.com.au.
"I've got all the vertigo, the pain; it's in my ear but behind my ear, in my face, down my jaw and down my neck. It builds up because the hole has closed up and it builds up in my face which feels like a million different things. It's hell."
Joanna has since undergone three surgeries and will need a hearing device, reported to cost $25,000, to hear in her right ear.
The flight also affected her daughter Mahala and son Malakai, who were aged 11 and nine months at the time.
With Malakai suffering a ruptured ear drum and enduring 18 weeks of trips to the GP, and Joanna's daughter suffering earaches for six weeks after the flight, the mum is now suing Qantas for compensation.
Joanna says she can no longer work from home, and needs assistance taking care of her kids.
“I can't even hear my baby cry,” she told the Daily Mail.
A Qantas spokeperson has responded to the claims, telling news.com.au: “We’re aware of the alleged incident but we are yet to be served with any proceedings so we’re not in a position to comment.”