Reality star Melissa Rycroft got “really sick” in the Dominican Republic recently — so sick that her parents thought she died at point, according to a report.
The former “Bachelorette” and “Dancing with the Stars” alum recounted the scare during an interview with ET this week.
“There was one report that was out that I was dead,” Rycroft said. “My parents were frantically calling me that morning going, ‘We are getting people calling with their condolences.’ Like, ‘Mom, I’m on the phone with you. I’m in my bed.”
Sources told Page Six last week that Rycroft, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader who first appeared on television in 2009 as a “Bachelor” contestant, had fallen mysteriously ill while vacationing in Punta Cana. She is one of numerous people to get sick there over the past year — with several others reportedly dying.
Sources said Rycroft was staying at the Nickelodeon Resort when she fell ill.
“I was never under the care of a nurse,” she told ET. “I was never dying, I don’t think. I felt like it a few times but I was never dying.”
A rep for Rycroft said the 36-year-old had been stricken with “an upset stomach on the second day of vacation, but it passed.” She began suffering from severe cramping upon her return home.
“She’s assuming it’s something food borne,” the rep said, “but no one else in her family is ill.”
Doctors have been running tests on Rycroft to see if she possibly has any parasites.
Many people believe tainted alcohol from hotel minibars could be to blame for the recent spat of illnesses and deaths being reported out of the DR. Authorities have been looking into this theory for several weeks — and the FBI is currently running analysis on alcohol samples to see if it’s true.
So far, at least 11 people have died in the Caribbean island nation over the past year and dozens more have gotten sick. Three of the cases involved tourists dying at the same hotel chain — Bahia Principe — but Dominican health officials insist that the deaths are unrelated.
People “arrive with preexisting conditions and die in this country as they do in all countries,” claimed health minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas in an interview with CBS News on Monday.
He said autopsies for at least eight of the individuals who have died showed that they had been suffering from previous medical conditions, including morbid obesity and hypertension.
“We have unequivocally shown that there is not an avalanche of deaths of American tourists in the country,” said tourism minister Francisco Javier Garcia in a statement earlier this week.
“It is not true that there are mysterious deaths,” he added.
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