The 38-year-old woman death adds to a rapidly growing list of American tourists who have mysteriously died on the Caribbean island, which has been under siege by reports of fatal illnesses at several different resorts.
Donette Cannon’s family spoke with the publication on Friday about the tragedy, sharing that she visited the popular tourist destination on a family trip last year for her brother-in-law’s birthday. She stayed at the Sunscape Bávaro Beach Punta Cana.
Her sister told the publication that she arrived at the all-inclusive resort on May 14, 2018, and that she spent four days without having any issues. She explained that she sunbathed, took photos, and participated in a dune buggy excursion.
“She was posting videos to show how much fun she was having,” Candace Edge Johnson told The Post of her sister’s time on the island.
Although, the group experienced minor stomach issues over the course of the trip, but nothing that was too alarming and personally concerning for Cannon, who suffered from diabetes and was receiving dialysis treatment at the time.
“For us, throughout the trip, we kept using the bathroom,” Johnson recalled. “We went to a restaurant in the same condition, anytime we ate, we were using the bathroom.”
Her sister added that they all spent their last night singing and dancing before going to their respective rooms.But in the middle of the night, Cannon woke up with a severe stomach ache that eventually turned to vomiting and having diarrhea. The family decided to call a doctor after noticing she was not feeling better the next morning.
“My cousin said, ‘It’s getting worse. I’m going to have the medics come and check her out,'” Johnson said. “Once they got to the room, she fell unconscious and they took her to the hospital.”
The emergency responders were made aware of Donette’s kidney issues and still took her to a hospital without a dialysis machine. They eventually told her relatives that it was too late to take her elsewhere to receive the proper treatment. “They basically let her die on the table,” she said.
The Post reports that, upon performing an autopsy, Dominican officials found the cause of death to be kidney failure. Johnson, however, said it “never addressed what initially got her sick in the first place.”
Still in shock by the incident, Johnson said she did not think to question the resort about what happened to her sister.
“We were so traumatized,” she said. “I would’ve pursued the resort more about whether there was food poisoning, and the decisions made about hospitals with dialysis, and just their [lack of] urgency to alert people [for help].”
She later added that, after noticing that more incidents of mysterious deaths were being reported, she feels there may be “something deeper” going on. She said she “would never return” to the country and wants to warn others to be “very cautious.”