FORT WORTH, Texas - A couple from Fort Worth, Texas, went on a vacation in Fiji and died suddenly after contracting an unknown illness.
Family members of David and Michelle Paul said the couple headed out to Fiji and began feeling sick right before they were expected to head home.
Tracey Calanog, Michelle’s sister-in-law, said the couple suffered the same symptoms: vomiting, intestinal issues and numb hands. Michelle died Saturday, Calanog said, and David was in critical condition until he developed pneumonia and died two days later.
“They (were) remarkable people and such a loving couple who cared immensely about family, especially their children,” Calanog said.
The Air Force veteran and his wife loved to travel. Relatives said the couple was perfectly healthy before they departed for Fiji.
The U.S. Department of State confirmed the deaths of Michelle and David, adding that authorities in Fiji were investigating the cause and that the State Department was “closely monitoring” it.
The World Health Organization recently issued an alert, warning travelers of a deadly flu strain that is “particularly affecting young adults.”
Calanog said the family is awaiting autopsy and test results to “fill in some of the missing puzzle pieces with their illness.”
The Pauls leave behind a 2-year-old son, David’s daughter from a previous relationship and their dog, Zooey. While the couple was on vacation, their children were with relatives but Zooey had been left at an unknown kennel, which caused the family to scramble to find her.
With help from the community, Zooey was located and returned to family members.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.