Dominican Republic deaths: Denver father-of-two becomes 13th American tourist to die in country under mysterious circumstances
A father-of-two from Denver has become the 13th American tourist to die in the Dominican Republic under mysterious circumstances.
46-year-old Khalid Adkins was expected to fly back to the U.S. on Sunday after vacationing with his daughter on the island. However, he suffered a kidney failure just before takeoff and had to be rushed to a hospital where he died Wednesday, Daily Mail reports.
Delta Airlines recently announced they would allow passengers to reschedule or cancel their flights to the Dominican Republic without charge, and Adkins' death came as yet another destructive blow to the country's dwindling reputation as a tourist destination.
Delta confirmed that all flights to, from and through Punta Cana International Airport will be covered by the waiver considering the "recent events in Punta Cana", per a post on the airline's advisory page.
Adkins' family has now set up a GoFundMe page to help cover funeral costs.
"I am absolutely devastated to make this update but we have lost Khalid!!! We found out this morning that he passed away last night!!" the page organizer wrote. "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!"
A day before Adkins' death, his sister-in-law Marla Strick spoke to KDVR. "They transferred him to Santo Domingo and [said] that his breathing is really bad and that his kidneys were failing," she said.
Adkins has two daughters aged 20 and 24, and one of them had already returned to Denver when he fell ill.
According to family members, they struggled to communicate with staff at the hospital and were unaware of the tragic prognosis on Tuesday evening.
"He said his leg started to swell and that's why he couldn't get up. And he started sweating and vomiting. He is just yelling and in pain, so he couldn't talk to me," Strick said on Tuesday.
Just a day before Adkins died, a 15-year-old Argentinian girl slipped into a coma on the island.
Doctors diagnosed she had a life-threatening diabetic condition, but her family said she had no history of the same and lead a healthy life.
Candela Saccone reportedly had diabetic ketoacidosis, a "serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones."
According to medical experts, the condition usually develops "when your body can't produce enough insulin."
She was transported from Punta Cana to the General Hospital of the Plaza de la Salud in Santo Domingo as the initial medical center "did not have sufficient equipment to treat her," per the New York Post.
At least 13 Americans have now lost their lives while visiting the Caribbean island amid a spate of mysterious illnesses.