'I felt like I was going to die': Atlanta woman talks about getting sick in Dominican Republic

Sunday, June 23, 2019

ATLANTA, Ga. -- Another American tourist has died in the Dominican Republic.

Fifty-Five year old Joseph Allen of New Jersey was found dead in his hotel room last week, making him the ninth U.S. tourist to die at a Dominican Republic resort or after becoming ill at one since last June.

An Atlanta woman said she recently got violently ill after leaving her resort while vacationing in the country as well.

"I felt like I was going to die," said Francetta Clausell. "It was that bad."

Clausell told WSB she started feeling ill the morning she and a friend were leaving the resort hotel in the Dominican Republic back in December.

It got much worse on the connecting flight to Atlanta.

"It felt like I was gasping for air, I could not breathe, I started vomiting," Clausell said.

She said a registered nurse on the flight jumped in to help.

"Started an I.V. on me because my blood pressure was so low and she thought for a moment that we may have to do an emergency landing," Clausell said.

She made it home, but was sick in bed for days and developed a rash on her leg.

She recently learned she stayed at a property owned by the same company that has a nearby resort where two American tourists died.

She was stunned.

"All this started happening and I was like, wait, there's a connection," Clausell said.

Island authorities and the FBI are investigating eight deaths and illnesses of dozens of other American tourists.

RELATED: How mysterious American deaths have unfolded in the Dominican Republic

Tainted alcohol is suspected in some cases, but Clausell said she doesn't drink.

"The thing is, no one knows what's going on," Clausell said.

Clausell said her heart goes out to the families of the tourists who died.

"By the grace of God, I'm alive because I believe my life was spared," Clausell said.


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