Sandals Bahamas Deaths: Son of American Hospitalized in Miami Says She Woke Up and ‘couldn’t Move’
Speculation abounds after Donnis Chiarella of Alabama fell victim to a mysterious disease plaguing residents at a Bahamas resort. Her hospitalization follows the deaths of three other Americans at the resort in recent days.
The Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Great Exuma is at the epicenter of the mystery.
Last Friday, Chiarella woke up on the floor of her hotel room, unsure what had happened and unable to move. Her adult son, Austin, heard her cries for help, found her and called for medical assistance.
Chiarella was airlifted to a Miami hospital on Saturday. Her husband was pronounced dead at the scene.
Recounting what had happened, Austin Chiarella told ABC News:
“She woke up and my dad was laying there on the floor, and she couldn’t move. Her legs and arms [were] swollen and she couldn’t move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door.”
“I am just so heartbroken right now,” Austin reportedly added. “My dad was everything to me.”
NBC’s “Today” show reported: “Officials have not publicly identified the deceased. The two other victims – a man and a woman – were found on the other side of the split beachfront villa where the Chiarellas were lodging.
Investigators on the scene are currently looking into the property’s water heater, air conditioner and propane supply for possible leaks, the network added.
Autopsy results are expected early this week.
Local police state it’s not clear how the individuals died but stated their deaths were “sudden.”
According to Latest Page News, acting Prime Minister of the Bahamas Chester Cooper said, “No foul play was suspected.”
A preliminary investigation report notes:
“After 9am on Friday, May 6, 2022, police at the George Town Police Station ‘were informed by staff at a local resort that the body of a man has been found in one of the unresponsive villas.’
“On the way to the scene, officers received information ‘that another man and woman at another villa were found unresponsive.’
“Officers entered a bedroom in the first villa and found a Caucasian man ‘lying unresponsive on the floor. An examination of the body was conducted’ and ‘no signs of trauma’ were found. A doctor pronounced the victim dead.
“Next, officers went to the second villa, where they found a Caucasian man ‘leaning against a wall in a bathroom and not responding. A Caucasian woman was also found in a bedroom on a bed.’
“She didn’t respond either.
“‘Both people showed signs of convulsions’… and no other signs of trauma were found …The local doctor later pronounced both people dead.”
In a statement to Fox News Digital, The Sandals Report said, “nothing is more important to Sandals Resorts than the safety of our guests.”
A spokesperson for the resort added:
“It is with deep sadness that we can confirm the passing of three guests at Sandals Emerald Bay on May 6, 2022. A health emergency was initially reported, and following our protocols, we immediately alerted emergency medical professionals and relevant local authorities. We are actively working to support both the investigation as well as the guests’ families in every way possible during this difficult time.”
A State Department spokesperson said the agency is “closely monitoring” the investigation into the Americans’ deaths.
“We can confirm the death of three U.S. citizens in the Bahamas. We are closely monitoring local authorities’ investigation into the cause of death. We stand ready to provide all appropriate consular assistance. Out of respect for the privacy of the families, we have nothing further to add at this time.”
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