Teen Girl Reportedly Falls Into Coma While Visiting Dominican Republic: Reports

June 26, 2019 Updated: June 26, 2019

A teen girl in Argentina fell into a coma while vacationing in the Dominican Republic. Doctors there stated that she was suffering from a life-threatening diabetic condition.

However, according to the New York Post, her family said she didn’t have a history of diabetes.

Candela Saccone, 15, traveled to the country in mid-June, and was scheduled to return home on June 19. She reportedly got sick that morning, the paper reported.

Her mother, Natalia Knetch, told CNN that she was vomiting and was dehydrated. She was taken to a local medical center, and doctors there diagnosed her with diabetic cetoacidosis.

She was taken from Punta Cana to the General Hospital of the Plaza de la Salud in Santo Domingo. Officials in Argentina said that the first medical center where she had been staying “did not have sufficient equipment to treat her,” the Post reported.

As of June 25, she was in a coma and still unconscious, but she was showing signs of improvement, the reports said.

The Dominican Minister of Health met with Candela’s family on June 23 before telling CNN that Candela was “under control in a high-quality hospital center.”

At least 12 Americans have died in the past year while visiting the country. Family members of the tourists said some of the deaths were odd.

The latest death reported was a Long Island man who died earlier this month.

The cause of death of Long Island pizzeria owner Vittorio Caruso was from heart failure and respiratory failure, according to CNN this week.

Caruso was living in the Boca Chica community near Santo Domingo for several years, said prosecutors.

Yomaira Ramirez de Jesus told prosecutors that he began to cough and suffer from shortness of breath on June 11. That’s when he went to a doctor, was treated, and released, the network also reported.

About a week later, Ramirez de Jesus stated Caruso called her and again complained about shortness of breath and chest pain.

When she visited him, he was getting medical attention at home, officials also stated. Then he was taken to Santo Domingo hospital before suffering cardiorespiratory arrest and death.

According to the autopsy reports, Caruso was a smoker and drank alcohol. His body at the time of his death showed no signs of internal or external trauma.

His family, however, blasted Dominican officials.

“We found out he was brought by ambulance to the hospital in respiratory distress after drinking something,” sister Lisa Caruso told Fox News over the weekend. “We were told he wasn’t responding to any meds he was given and died. I honestly don’t know exactly what happened, as we have been told conflicting stories from different people there.”

“It is very hard to get a straight story from anyone there,” she explained.

Not Unusual

The island’s tourism minister said last week that the deaths of eight American tourists in the Dominican Republic this year are not part of a mysterious wave of fatalities but a medically and statistically normal phenomenon that has been lumped together by U.S. media, according to The Associated Press.

Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García told reporters that autopsies show the tourists died of natural causes. 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.

With some 3.2 million U.S. tourists visiting the Dominican Republic last year, he said, it’s not unusual for eight people to die while on vacation over any six-month period. Dominican officials say they are confident the three deaths still under investigation were also from natural causes.

“We want the truth to prevail,” García said. “There is nothing to hide here.”

The first deaths to make headlines, and still the most mysterious, were those of a couple who seemingly died at the same time in the same hotel room. The bodies of Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Ann Day, 49, were found 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.

Autopsies found pulmonary edema, an accumulation of fluid in the lungs frequently caused by heart disease.

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 reported cases included at least two deaths from 2018.