The young Australian woman who suddenly died from a ‘mystery illness’ while on her honeymoon in Fiji had ‘severe pneumonia,’ her family has revealed.
Kelly Clarke, 24, was with new husband Chase when she fell ill and was rushed to hospital on Wednesday with what was initially thought to be typhoid.
Her family has since revealed she died of bilateral pneumonia, Nine News reported on Sunday night.
Ms Clarke, a recently-graduated registered nurse at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, initially complained of stomach pain.
Within half an hour, her condition had deteriorated to the point where her husband Chase knew she had to go to hospital.
‘From the first time she said she was sick, to the critical point I took her to the hospital would have been 20 minutes,’ Mr Clarke told Nine.
‘I spoke to her and she told me she was scared she was going to die. I told her I loved her, we’re going to get out of here, everything’s going to be OK.
‘She’d gone into septic shock, she was panting heavily, she could barely speak to me… I couldn’t explain how much pain she had… It just happened so quickly.’
The Sydney woman died on Friday night while waiting for a medical evacuation team to arrive.
Ms Clarke’s sister started a fundraiser after the family was told it could cost $61,000 to bring her body home. The page has raised over $47,000 in just two days.
Her brother Murray Shaw said Ms Clarke went into cardiac arrest five times within an hour and died.
‘We are so shocked,’ Mr Shaw wrote in a Facebook post.
‘You beautiful girl and amazing sister you will be deeply missed.’
Mr Clarke described the agonising decision to direct medical staff to cease working on his wife.
‘I said stop and pushed everyone away and me and her mother just held her,’ he said.
In a statement provided to Nine, the family described Ms Clarke as ‘an amazing human being’.
The Children’s Hospital offered condolences.
‘Kelly was a dedicated nurse who loved working with children and will be greatly missed by her colleagues and patients,’ a spokeswoman said in a statement.
Friends and relatives paid tribute to Ms Clarke on social media, with one co-worker remembering ‘an amazing woman, a brilliant nurse and such a kind and gentle soul’.
‘She was one of the most beautiful, caring, giving people I have ever been lucky enough to meet,’ another person wrote.
A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson said it was providing consular assistance ‘to the family of an Australian woman who passed away in Fiji’.