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Epileptic child turned away from Melbourne hotel

A Melbourne hotel has apologised for refusing a family accommodation because of their 11-year-old’s epilepsy.

After informing the hotel of the boy’s condition in a general discussion about their reasons for travel, the Collins family from South Australia received an email from HFN Waterside Melbourne Apartments saying their booking had been cancelled.

“For the safety of the guest and due to the risk we cannot bear, we are sorry to inform you that we cannot accommodate you,” it read.

According to 7NEWS, the hotel blamed the message on a contractor in China, calling it a “terrible mistake” and saying the response was “not up to their standard”.

Max Collins has suffered since he was five from genetic myoclonic seizures, a type of epilepsy that causes jerking movements in the limbs, and endures around 40-50 seizures a day.

Earlier this year, he also started experiencing the more common full clonic seizures, which affect his entire body.

Max, who lives with his family in Naracoorte, has been attending specialist appointments in Melbourne and his father Mark decided to tie in further exploratory medical appointments with a family holiday.

“He’s a pretty amazing little dude,” Mr Collins told 7NEWS. “I just wanted to make it an experience for him.”

Looking for somewhere convenient to stay, he booked at the central Docklands apartments, explaining why the family was making the trip.

The following morning, he received the cancellation email.

“I just don’t understand, it’s not like we were asking them to look after him for us,” he said.

“We would be with him the whole time. It’s not easy at the best of times, let alone when something like this happens.”

According to the news outlet, the hotel’s duty manager was unaware the booking had been cancelled.

“I’ll have to call overseas to find out what’s happening, but that service is not up to our standard,” he said. “I’ll tell the service company that they have to go through us to respond to anything like that.”

“We open our doors to everyone, it’s all welcome,” he said.

Mark told the Daily Mail the hotel has since offered his family complimentary accommodation, but he is not looking for a freebie – an accusation levelled at the family by online trolls.

“I just want to walk away from the situation and find somewhere else to stay,” he said. “I’d prefer it if they donated that money to Epilepsy Australia.”

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Kate Jackson

Kate Jackson is the editor of Accomnews. You can reach her at any time with questions or submissions: [email protected]

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