Father Dies in Dominican Republic After Suddenly Falling Sick and Being Forced Off the Plane Home

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
June 27, 2019World News
Father Dies in Dominican Republic After Suddenly Falling Sick and Being Forced Off the Plane Home
Tourists rest at Bavaro beach, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on Jan. 16, 2012. (Erika Santelices/AFP/Getty Images)

A man from Denver, Colorado, suddenly fell ill and died alone after spending a vacation in the Dominican Republic. He was unable to make it back home before his death after an airline refused him because he was too sick.

Khalid Adkins had traveled to the Dominican Republic with his daughter last week but found himself suddenly ill, Fox 31 reported.

It is unclear where he had been staying.

He tried taking a flight back home on Sunday, June 23, but was forced to leave the plane after he was sweating profusely and vomiting in the plane’s bathroom.

Adkins was taken to a hospital in Santo Domingo, the country’s capital, according to the news outlet.

Marla Strick, Adkins’s sister-in-law, told the Fox affiliate before Adkins’s death that officials said that “his breathing is really bad and that his kidneys were failing.”

According to reports, Adkins’s family was then told that he could take a medical evacuation flight home, which would cost around $20,000, or try to get him dialysis in Santo Domingo.

Adkins’s family told Fox 31 that they were uncertain as to his specific diagnosis as of late June 25, and they were having trouble communicating with hospital staff.

“He said his leg started to swell and that’s why he couldn’t get up,” Strick said. “He started sweating and vomiting. He is just yelling and in pain, so he couldn’t talk to me.”

Adkins’s family said on June 26 that he died.

A GoFundMe account was set up, initially to try to get enough funding for $20,000 to fly him home for emergency care, but it is now directed at efforts to transport Adkins’s body home, figure out the cause of his death, and support his children.

“We need to get his body home anything helps please!! We really want to know what happened!” the page reads.

According to the page, his children are 20 and 24 years old and “have lived with only their dad since age 7 and now he is gone.”

His daughter had already traveled back to the United States when he fell ill, Fox 31 reported.

Around a dozen American tourists have died in the past year while visiting the country.

On June 21, the Dominican Republic’s tourism minister, Francisco Javier García, told reporters that the recent deaths are not unusual or mysterious and that they are not related, The Associated Press reported.

García said that it’s not unusual for some people to die while on vacation over any six-month period given that some 3.2 million tourists from the United States visited the Dominican Republic last year.

He said five of the autopsies are complete, and three are undergoing further toxicological analysis with the help from the FBI because of the circumstances of the deaths.

Dominican officials say they are confident the three deaths still under investigation were also from natural causes.

The first death to make headlines around the world was of a couple who appeared to have died at the same time in the same hotel room. Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, were found dead on May 30 in their room at the Grand Bahia Principe La Romana hotel.

Several medications were found in the room, including an anti-inflammatory drug, an opioid and blood-pressure medicine, García said. Police said that their bodies showed there were no signs of violence, according to CNN.

According to CNN, citing an autopsy report, officials said they died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, which is caused by excess fluid in the lungs that’s frequently caused by heart disease.

Holmes and Day also suffered from internal bleeding, including in their pancreases. Holmes also had an enlarged heart and cirrhosis of the liver, which indicated a preexisting condition, CNN reported. Day also had fluid in her brain, the report said.

Soon after the couple’s death, family members appeared in U.S. media reports questioning the death of Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, of Allentown, Pennsylvania, who died May 25 at the Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville hotel. A family spokesman told reporters that she collapsed after getting a drink from the minibar.

An autopsy found that she died of a heart attack, García said.

After the reporting on Schaup-Werner, more coverage followed, with relatives of people who died in the Dominican Republic telling local reporters across the United States that they were worried about their loved ones being victims of a strange chain of unexplained deaths, possibly caused by adulterated alcohol or misused pesticides.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.