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Family of Indiana mom who died on AA plane remain with unanswered questions

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Family of Indiana mom who died on AA plane remain with unanswered questions

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The family of an Indiana mom who died on an American Airlines flight from the Dominican Republic are still in the dark as to how she passed, her brother told NBC News Friday. 

Stefanie Smith, 41, was on American Airlines Flight 2790 from Punta Cana to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 28 when her health took a sudden turn, police said. 

She was given CPR on the plane and then the aircraft was diverted to the Turks and Caicos Islands, where she was taken to a local hospital but could not be saved.

INDIANA MOTHER APPEARED FIT AND HEALTHY BEFORE SUDDENLY DYING ABOARD AA FLIGHT, FAMILY AND FRIENDS SAY

A collage of Stefanie Snith who died aboard a flight last week

Stefanie Smith, 41, was on American Airlines Flight 2790 from Punta Cana to Charlotte, North Carolina when she started convulsing and died. (Facebook/Stefanie Smith/Eric MD Bell Funeral Home and Cremation Services)

“I’d say the uncertainty, the not knowing how she died, the not knowing when her body will be returned to us, has been the hardest thing recently,” Chris Volz, Smith’s brother, told NBC News. “It’s been a week so we’re past the initial shock. But now, it’s the uncertainty.”

Volz told the outlet the family has picked out a potential date for his sister’s “celebration of life.” However, they still do not know when the Turks and Caicos hospital will release her body and Volz said they have yet to hear from American Airlines. 

“We are hoping to find out soon,” Volz told NBC. 

He also told the outlet the family has been struggling to handle the situation after his sister’s passing. 

“My sister was the kind of person who saw the best in everybody,” Volz told NBC. “She was very much into her relationships with her family, with her friends. She put smiles on peoples’ faces.”

Fox News Digital reached out to Volz for additional comment. 

INDIANA MOTHER FALLS ILL, DIES ON AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT FROM DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Smith’s cause of death has yet to be announced. The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force said “a female passenger fell ill mid-flight,” after which “the Police Control Room received a call from the Air Traffic Control Tower requesting medical assistance for a 41-year-old female, who at the time was receiving Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).”

“A medical team, along with police units, were dispatched, and the patient was transported to Cheshire Hall Medical Centre, where she died. A post-mortem will be conducted to ascertain the cause of death,” police said in a statement released on Feb. 28. 

Fox News Digital reached out to police and the hospital for comment. 

American Airlines plane at Charlotte International Airport in North Carolina

Stefanie Smith, 41, was on American Airlines Flight 2790 from Punta Cana to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Feb. 28 when her health took a sudden turn, police said.  (DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)

“On Feb. 28, American Airlines flight 2790 with service from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ) to Charlotte (CLT) diverted to Providenciales International Airport (PLS) for the medical needs of a passenger. First responders met the aircraft and one passenger was taken to the local hospital,” American Airlines told Fox News Digital in a statement on Friday. 

ALASKA AIRLINES PLANE WAS A ‘TIME BOMB,’ SAYS ATTORNEY OF PASSENGERS SUING BOEING, AIRLINE

Smith’s friend, Maria Yannotti, told ABC News Smith’s boyfriend was sitting next to her on the flight and said her eyes rolled back and she started convulsing. Yannotti was also on the trip but traveled separate from Smith and her boyfriend. 

Yannotti said Smith’s boyfriend initially thought she was joking around but soon realized she was in distress.

A doctor and nurses on board the plane helped administer CPR before the plane made an emergency landing in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory located in the southeast of the Bahamas.

Vacation in Gran Turk - Aerial Touring Turks and Caicos Island Getaway

A doctor and nurses on board the plane helped administer CPR before the plane made an emergency landing in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory located in the southeast of the Bahamas. (iStock)

Smith was vacationing with her boyfriend for five days and seemed healthy right before the flight, Yannotti said. 

Fox News Digital reached out to Yannotti for additional comment. 

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Smith was the mother of two children, an 18-year-old son named Coen and 16-year-old daughter, Macee.

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