‘It Was Scary:’ Man Got Violently Ill on Day of Wedding at Dominican Republic Resort

June 18, 2019 Updated: June 18, 2019

An American man got violently ill on the day of his wedding at a resort in the Dominican Republic.

His bride spent the morning trying to take care of him.

“It was scary,” Claudia Massaranduba, who lives in the Boston area, told the New York Post about her partner Kevin Gentile. “He had a fever, chills and we were more concerned about getting fluids into him than the wedding.”

The wedding took place at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana, the same resort where at least two Americans have died in the past year.

Others involved in the wedding also became sick. Gentile, a bridesmaid, and the bride’s 10-year-old nephew went to the resort’s health clinic and were billed despite only being recommended to the local hospital.

“The doctor was very concerned about how she was going to be paid,” Massaranduba said. “I asked her if she was going to do anything for my husband besides look at him and tell him to go to the hospital?”

She herself later got sick, vomiting and experiencing diarrhea. She later found out that a number of other family members, including Gentile’s 75-year-old father, and a slew of friends had gotten sick.

She and Gentile left early.

“Our plan was to spend our honeymoon at the resort and instead we left a day early,” Massaranduba said. “The hardest part was that a big part of our wedding was having the family together and that got taken away from us. Instead, I was stuck in our room with my husband getting sick.”

Deaths at Hard Rock Hotel

The reported sicknesses during the wedding came after two deaths occurred at the resort.

David Harrison of Maryland traveled with his wife to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in July 2018. He got sick and went to sleep; when he woke up, he was sweating profusely, his wife Dawn McCoy told WTOP.

“He couldn’t sit up, and he was making noises that … you couldn’t make out. He was struggling quite a bit to get out of bed and to talk,” said McCoy. “I tried to communicate with him and all he could do was mumble.”

Her husband was soon pronounced dead. Harrison was cleared by a doctor before the trip. The official cause of death was pulmonary edema and a heart attack.

“I started seeing all these other people that were dying of the same exact causes, which made me start to second guess. I no longer feel like my husband died of natural causes,” McCoy said.

She referenced how three Americans died in late May and were all said to have similar causes of death.

“When it came up that they died from the same exact thing as my husband I thought ‘No, no…. there’s no way two people could die of the same exact thing,’” she added to Fox 5.

In April, Robert Bell Wallace, 67, of California, traveled to the resort and soon died.

According to his obituary, Wallace “passed unexpectedly while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.”

“He was fine,” his niece, Chloe Arnold, told Fox News. “He and his wife arrived there at around midnight on April 10. On April 11 he had scotch from the minibar. He started feeling very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool right afterward.”

A hotel doctor cleared Arnold, then said on April 13 that he should be checked into a hospital. The man died the next day. The family has not been told what caused Wallace’s death. “We have so many questions,” Arnold said. “We don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

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