26-Y-O Canadian Woman Dies of Dengue Fever in Jamaica

TORONTO – A 26-year-old Ontario woman died after contracting dengue fever while attending a friend’s destination wedding in Jamaica.

Jodie Dicks from Toronto, Ont., contracted a severe case of dengue fever while attending her friend’s destination wedding in Jamaica. After spending a few days in a Jamaican hospital, she was flown to a Florida medical center, where she suffered two heart attacks and died in her mother's arms on Jan. 26.

“It is devastating and we’re in shock. It was like a nightmare,” her stepmother Kay Dicks said in a phone interview with CTVNews.ca.

Jodie had just paid off her new car, bought a condominium, was ready to marry the love of her life, Kerrian Walker, and have children of her own, Dicks said.

The family said no one ever used terms like “step-parent” or “step-sibling.” Jodie was a big part of that tight family unity.

“You hear people say ‘the sweetest soul’ and she truly was,” Jodie’s stepfather Randy Boissoin told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. It was common for Jodie to relish being surrounded by her nieces and nephews.

“At family gatherings, she’d be out and about -- swimming with three kids on her back, or catching frogs (with them),” Boissoin said, describing how he helped raise her for 20 years. “She was that incredible aunt.”

Her obituary said, “Jodie loved being an aunt and accepted this role willingly.”

“She was an adorable kid. And everybody loved her,” Dicks said. Jodie’s death “has broken the entire family. Broken every single one of us inside.”

Full Story on www.ctvnews.ca

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