An American Was Taken Off A Plane Leaving The DR And Died In A Hospital In Santo Domingo
Khalid Adkins is the ninth American to die in the Dominican Republic this year alone, and the fourth in June. The deaths in the Dominican Republic are causing concern in the U.S. as the reasons for the deaths are still unknown. While Dominican officials say the number of deaths is not abnormal, there is a lot of concern about why people are dying while vacationing on the Caribbean island.
Adkins was vacationing in the Dominican Republic from Denver, Colorado with his daughter, Mia, when he reportedly fell ill.
His daughter, Mia, said it started with a painful bump on his leg.
Mia returned home a few days earlier than her father. Just before her flight, they stopped by their hotel’s medical clinic, but USA Today reports that he decided to delay treatment unless the pain became worse.
He had already boarded the plane to return home, but was removed.
Adkins’s sister-in-law, Marla Strick, told Fox 31 that he vomited on the plane’s bathroom and was dripping in sweat when the airline removed him from the plane.
He was sent to a hospital in Santo Domingo where his kidneys started to fail.
His breathing started to deteriorate and soon after, his kidneys started failing. Strick noted that he had a kidney transplant years earlier but left for Santo Domingo in perfect health.
Nobody notified the family that Adkins died.
Apparently, it was only after his daughter, Mia, frantically called the hospital Wednesday morning when hospital staff relayed the devastating information. He had died.
There is still no official cause of death.
The family is waiting for authorities to perform an autopsy–a legal requirement when a foreigner dies on Dominican Republic soil. Just last week, Dominican tourism minister, Francisco Javier Garcia, held a press conference assuring the world that, “The Dominican Republic is a safe country.”
Tourism minister Francisco Javier Garcia said the number of deaths this year is lower than years previous.
So far, nine American tourists have died in the Dominican Republic this year. According to Garcia, in 2011 and 2015, there had already been 15 tourist deaths by this time of year. He didn’t confirm whether this is American or worldwide deaths.
With the string of deaths, Adkins’s family had already started raising money to medivac him back to the U.S. before his flight.
Adkins’s family started a GoFundMe page asking for help to get him out of the country. At first, the description looked like this:
“We are trying anything to get him home! When we try to talk to him he is just screaming in pain and saying help him, please! It is the most devastating thing ever!! They said we can medivac him home but it is $20,000 we are lost!! It’s a terrible nightmare!! Anything helps thank you so much!! Please keep praying!!”
Folks are calling on Colorado Senator Cory Gardner to send his body home.
So far, the GoFundMe has raised over $23,000 by 220 people in 2 days. Wednesday evening, the page was updated to include this:
“I am absolutely detested to make this update but we have lost Khalid!!! We found out this morning that he passed away last night!! I am at a loss for words we have no explanation of what happened all they will say is he get sick!! We need to get his body home anything helps, please!! We really want to know what happened!”
People on social media are sharing their own theories on the string of deaths in the Dominican Republic.
The reality is that the circumstances around most of the deaths are concerning. One man immediately collapsed after drinking from the hotel mini bar. Another couple was found dead in their hotel rooms after drinking from the mini bar.
The FBI has opened an internal investigation to give American families some answers.
Many families have opened up about not trusting Dominican authorities because their family members were in good health when they departed for their vacation. We hope the FBI can offer some closure soon.
The deaths are prompting American politicians to call for transparency and answers about the unexpected deaths on the island.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agency to open an investigation into the deaths. Since multiple deaths have been linked back to the drinks guests are having at the mini bars in their hotel rooms.
Widespread coverage of the deaths has seen a severe impact on trips booked and canceled for the Dominican Republic.
Total bookings for trips to the island fell by 74 percent in July and August when compared to the same time last year, according to a new study. There was also a 51 percent increase in bookings being canceled following the string of deaths. Other Caribbean islands have seen an increase in tourism at the same time.