Auckland father-of-two dies in Samoa after contracting dengue fever
A south Auckland father-of-two has died in Samoa after contracting dengue fever.
Mechanic Fiaalii Mariner and his family had moved to the South Pacific country for a year to start a car rental business and spend time with extended family.
But the 43-year-old, from Ōtara, fell desperately ill just six weeks into the trip.
He was admitted to Moto'otua National Hospital in Apia with dengue fever on November 14, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Mariner quickly became too ill to travel home to New Zealand, suffering pneumonia and a heart attack while in hospital.
His wife Alei Leuluaialii organised for $20,000 worth of medication to be sent to Samoa in late November, according to Mariner's Givealittle page.
However, Mariner died on December 1 in the hospital's intensive care unit, the hospital spokeswoman said.
The family did not have medical or travel insurance, family friend Christine Freebury said on the Givealittle page.
"I am hoping to raise funds to cover the cost of the medication."
On Monday, more than $10,000 had been donated.
Freebury said the family had made the move partly so their children could connect with their Samoan heritage and spend time with their great-grandfather.
They had been enrolled in school in Samoa and were thriving, already having made good friends.
"To have a dream such as theirs be diminished in the first six weeks of their adventure together as a family is heartbreaking," Freebury said.
Mariner's family has been contacted for comment.
The New Zealand High Commission in Apia confirmed it was providing consular assistance to the family.