Sandals Bahamas deaths: Son of American hospitalized in Miami says she woke up and ‘couldn’t move’

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The son of a mother who was airlifted to a Miami hospital over the weekend after falling ill at a Bahamas resort where three other Americans were found dead says she woke up during the health scare and “couldn’t move,” according to a report. 

Austin Chiarella, the son of Vincent and Donnis Chiarella, said the Alabama couple in their mid-60s was celebrating their wedding anniversary at the 5-star Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Great Exuma when the incident happened Friday, according to ABC News.  

“She woke up and my dad was laying there on the floor, and she couldn’t move,” Austin recalled his mother saying after speaking with her over the weekend, the station reported. “Her legs and arms [were] swollen and she couldn’t move and she screamed to get someone to come in the door.” 

The pool area of the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in June 2016.

The pool area of the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in June 2016.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Sandals)


“I am just so heartbroken right now,” Austin reportedly added. “My dad was everything to me.” 

Donnis, her son also said, reported feeling sick on Thursday but “thought she was all right” after being discharged from a clinic in the Bahamas. 

He told ABC News he was contacted by the U.S. Embassy on Friday night. 

The deceased have not been publicly identified by officials. The two other victims – a man and a woman – were found on the other side of the split beachfront villa where the Chiarellas had been staying, NBC’s “Today” show reported. 

Investigators on scene are now looking into the property’s water heater, air conditioner and propane supply for possible leaks, the network added. 

Autopsy results could come as early as Monday.

Police in the area said it’s not clear how the individuals died, stating that their deaths were “sudden.” 

Sandals resort

Sandals resort
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Sandals)


A State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital on Saturday that it 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,” the spokesperson said. 

“On their arrival at the scene they were directed to the first villa. On entering a bedroom, they found a Caucasian male laying on the ground unresponsive,” the Royal Bahama Police Force said in a statement posted to Twitter. “An examination of the body was conducted, there was [sic] no signs of trauma found. The local doctor later pronounced the victim dead.” 

The police officers went to a second villa where a man was found unresponsive and “slumped against a wall in a bathroom.” In the bedroom, a woman was found unresponsive. Police said the individuals showed signs of “convulsion.” 

Part of the interior at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort.

Part of the interior at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Sandals)


“The officers examined the bodies and found no signs of trauma. The local doctor later pronounced both persons dead,” the Bahama police said. 

According to police, one couple attempted to get medical attention the night before. 

Fox News’ Adam Sabes and Caitlin McFall contributed to this report. 

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