A Florida man and his wife have been pictured celebrating their anniversary at a luxury Sandals resort in the Bahamas just days before he died and she became seriously ill.

Vincent Chiarella (64), a retired man who lived in Panama City, Florida but was originally from Alabama died on Friday at Sandals Emerald Bay, Exuma, while on vacation along with Donnis, 64.

His death is the third American to die at the resort. There is some speculation that their deaths may have been due to faulty air conditioners. 

Vincent was found dead in Vincent’s villa by hotel staff shortly after 9 am Friday. They called the police. George Town Police Station officers arrived at the scene to find Vincent’s body. They were also informed that a couple from another villa was unresponsive. All three of them were declared dead later.    

They had all visited a clinic for treatment the night before they died. 

Donnis was paralysed when she woke up, her husband still not moving. Austin Chiarella, Austin Chiarella’s son and devastated father, shared their story with ABC News. 

A second man and a woman, both American citizens, died. They have not been identified. All victims were said to have experienced convulsions prior to their death. 

Austin said, “She woke and found my dad lying there on the flooring. And she couldn’t get up.”

“Her arms and legs were swelling and she was unable to move. She cried for help and yelled at someone to open the door.

According to the son, his mother first fell ill Thursday and had visited a clinic nearby. Her mother was released shortly after and she believed that her health had improved. 

Donnis was flown back to Florida by an airlift for additional medical care.

Vincent Chiarella is pictured with his wife Donnis at Sandals in the Bahamas just days before he died and she was left seriously ill

Vincent Chiarella is pictured with his wife Donnis at Sandals in the Bahamas just days before he died and she was left seriously ill

Two men and a woman have died at the luxury Sandals resort in Exuma, in the Bahamas (pictured). Another woman, a wife of one of the deceased, was stricken with an illness and has since been airlifted to a hospital in Florida

Exuma Sandals, a luxury resort located in Exuma in the Bahamas has lost two people (pictured). A second woman, the wife of one deceased man, became ill and was airlifted from Florida to an emergency room.

Austin stated, “I am so broken right now. I was everything to my dad. 

Steve Mulder said that his sister Donnis was in Miami’s intensive care and is currently covered with rashes.

Mulder indicated that Vincent’s autopsy will be published on Monday. Mulder also said Mulder heard about air conditioning. 

He said that when they reached the hotel the air conditioner was not working. ‘They [staff]It was something we were working towards every day. 

The State Department is closely monitoring the Bahamas’ police investigation. 

USA Today reported that officials are keeping an eye on the local authorities as they investigate the cause of death. “We will provide any consular assistance necessary.” We are unable to provide any additional consular assistance at this point, out of respect for families’ privacy. 

A second vacationer, however, has written a detailed account. 

“Three of our neighbours in the building next to us have died, and one was airlifted in critical conditions early yesterday,” Chris Coucheron-Aamot, who is currently vacationing at the Sandals Emerald Bay resort in Exuma, wrote on Facebook.

A guest staying at the luxury Bahamas resort said Friday that a faulty air conditioner leaking toxic coolant may have been to blame for the tragedy

One guest who stayed at the resort in the Bahamas claimed that the tragic incident may have been the result of a defective air conditioner which emitted toxic coolant.

The post from New Mexico man Chris Coucheron-Aamot (pictured), who was staying in the same complex of villas at the ritzy resort, came as it was revealed that at least three of the stricken guests - who stayed in separate villas - complained of illness to hotel staff the night before their bodies were discovered

The post from New Mexico man Chris Coucheron-Aamot (pictured), who was staying in the same complex of villas at the ritzy resort, came as it was revealed that at least three of the stricken guests – who stayed in separate villas – complained of illness to hotel staff the night before their bodies were discovered

The post, which seemed to be penned by Coucheron-Aamot’s partner, describes a crime scene at the resort’s luxury beachside villas where the bodies of the guests – all confirmed to be American – were discovered by hotel personnel in at least two separate villas.

Freon: What’s it? Freon is a toxic chemical that can be found in air conditioners 

Freon, a refrigerant chemical, is used in air conditioners. It can cause respiratory problems if inhaled.

This chemical is stable and non-flammable. It is moderately toxic, tasteless, and almost entirely odorless.

Freon exposure can cause irritation in the lungs, irritation of your stomach and burns to the esophagus. 

Freon poisoning is also known for skin irritations and tissue destruction. 

Freon can cause lung damage or even death.

Freon poisoning can be accidental, but it is rare. 

Freon poisoning can be mild or moderate. 


-irritation to eyes, ears and throat



-chemical burns 



Severe Freon poisoning symptoms include: 

-vomiting blood 

-breathing difficulties 

The loss of consciousness 

Lung fluid accumulation or bleeding


-burning irregular heartbeat confusion coma or sudden death 

He added: ‘There was crime scene tape and security guards all around our unit,’ the post from Coucheron-Aamot, who was staying in the same villas as the stricken guests, reads.

In the post, Coucheron-Aamot – who said he was continuing his vacation at the resort despite the deaths – said: ‘It sounds like it may have been a fault with the a/c in the unit, causing a toxic coolant leak.

“It was difficult to fall asleep last night. Every time that the a/c turned on, I got up.

“We will continue our vacation, because I want others to celebrate mine by living their lives to the fullest. Our hearts go out to those in mourning. We pray for God’s mercy.

Coucheron Aamot has posted photographs that show him with another man. This is presumed to have been his partner. The villas, which cost as much as $1,227 per night.

DailyMail.com reached out to Coucheron-Aamot Friday evening regarding the claims about the air conditioning units but did not immediately hear back.

Freon is a mildly toxic chemical that cools air conditioners. It can be inhaled for a long time and could prove fatal if it’s not used properly.

Coucheron Aamot’s claim comes as the police investigate the deaths three American guests. Two of them complained to the hotel staff that they were sick the night before.

Hotel staff found Vincent’s body shortly after 9am Friday in a villa, police said in their statement.

The George Town Police Station officers arrived quickly to investigate the incident. Hotel staff informed them that the two other guests had been unresponsive in another villa.

According to authorities, Vincent had fallen on the ground while being tended by officers at the first villa. He was declared dead on the spot by the doctor. 

New Providence police spoke out about the second couple: Our initial investigation revealed that the couple in the second Villa complained of sickness the night before.

“They went to the nearest medical facility, and after receiving treatment they were allowed back into their accommodation.

Royal Bahamas Police Force released a statement saying that the man, unidentified, was discovered lying on his back in a toilet and the female in bed. Both individuals displayed signs of convulsion.

The doctors stated that neither body showed signs of trauma.

Exuma MP Chester Cooper, Minister of Tourism and Exuma MEP said that Donnis was taken to Nassau for treatment. 

She has since been airlifted to Kendall Regional facility in Florida, her son, Austin, who learned of his parents’ deaths after receiving a call from the US Embassy Friday night, told ABC.

Austin spoke to his mom and explained to them how she found her husband unresponsive Friday morning.

He said that she told her son about falling ill Thursday, but she ‘thought she’d be alright after going to the clinic.

According to a spokesperson from Sandals, they would cooperate with police investigations. In response to questions regarding the claims about the apparently defective air conditioner unit, the rep didn’t address these issues. 

In an email statement, the representative stated that Sandals Resorts is committed to the safety and well-being of all guests.

“An emergency of health was reported at first. We immediately notified emergency personnel and the relevant authorities, following our procedures. 

“We are working actively to support the investigation and the families of our guests in any way we can during this time. We cannot divulge any further information due to the privacy concerns of our guests. 

Cooper released the following statement.

“Another American woman was airlifted from her home to Princess Margaret Hospital.

“I was briefed on this matter by both the police commissioner and resort’s executive leadership. I am in Eleuthera for ministerial purposes.

“As prime minister I’ve briefed Davis about the subject.

He said, “Police are still investigating the death and it is not known what caused it.”

However, foul play is not suspected. I asked Dr. Michael Darville, Minister of Health and Wellness to take a delegation to Exuma of Health and Wellness officials.

A fourth American, a woman, was airlifted to Princess Margaret Hospital (pictured) in the capital city Nassau, according to Exuma MP and Minister of Tourism Chester Cooper

Exuma MP Chester Cooper reports that a fourth American citizen, a female, was transported to Princess Margaret Hospital (pictured), in Nassau’s capital.

He said, “The public will keep abreast information as soon it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the affected families.

All-inclusive resort, the five-star luxury adults-only resort sits on 500 acres of tropical paradise.

The resort boasts a mile long beach and three swimming pools. There are 11 restaurants, as well as an award-winning course.

All guests are welcome to participate in tennis, volleyball, basketball and paddle-boarding. There is even a free option to get married if you stay for more than three nights.