American couple dies after contracting mysterious illness while on holiday in Fiji
David and Michelle Paul from Fort Worth, Texas went on a holiday halfway across the world, looking forward to having a great time but unfortunately never made it back home
An American couple's vacation to Fiji ended tragically after they contracted a mysterious illness and passed away. David and Michelle Paul from Fort Worth, Texas went on a holiday halfway across the world, looking forward to having a great time but unfortunately never made it back home. The couple came down with an unknown virus and now their friends and family want to know what happened to them, according to a report by KVUE.
"They were planning an amazing vacation," said Tracey Calanog, Michelle's sister-in-law. They were holidaying in Denarau, Nadi over the weekend. They were to come home soon and just a day before they were set to return, they got the call. "They knew something was going on in their body and were able to get to the hospital," Calanog said. The cause of death has still not been determined. She said that the couple was extremely healthy and fit. David was former Air Force and his wife was a former student-athlete, Calanog said.
The woman is believed to have died first, following which the local hospital wanted to move David to an Australian hospital on a helicopter. However, he died before they could move him. Spokesperson Ana Naisoro told FBC news that the Health Ministry is working on sending the post-mortem overseas to find out the cause of death.
Public Diplomacy Officer at the US Embassy in Fiji, Becca Archer-Knepper, confirmed the update. "For more than a week, the US Embassy has been closely working with the Fiji government, police, and health officials in their investigation into the tragic deaths of two US citizens while on holiday in Fiji," Archer-Knepper said in a statement to People. "The Embassy has facilitated contact between the US Centers for Disease Control and Fiji's Ministry of Health to ascertain the causes of death and to assist in any related measures. We appreciate the efforts made thus far by Fijian authorities and stand ready to provide further assistance if requested. At this point, we are not aware of any specific public-health threat to the community."
The couple has a two-year-old child and a dog named Zooey back home. The couple was also raising David's daughter from another relationship. The dog, who had been boarded at an unknown kennel by the couple has been found. "We were literally calling places on a hope and a prayer," Calanog shared with KVUE. "We are incredibly grateful for everyone that came together and helped locate Zooey," she told the outlet. "We know Michelle and David are with us in Zooey."
The bodies, however, still remain in Fiji and will remain there until the cause of death is determined. If infectious, their bodies will have to be cremated and will not be returned to the United States.
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