Donette Edge Cannon, a Queens, New York, native, died at a Dominican Republic resort hours after falling ill with a mysterious stomach virus, according to the New York Post.
The 38-year-old woman is the latest name added to a rapidly growing list of American tourists who have mysteriously died on the island, due to reports of fatal illnesses at several different resorts.
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.
Cannon's sister told the publication that she arrived at the all-inclusive resort on May 14, 2018, and spend four days without any problems. 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.
She added that their group experienced 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."
She added that they all spent their last night dancing before heading to their respective rooms. However, in the middle of the night, Cannon rose 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."
Her sister said 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."
Shaken 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 added that, after noticing that more incidents of mysterious deaths were being reported, she feels there may be "something deeper" going on.
Donette Edge Cannon had four children under the age of 15, including 6-year-old twins.
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