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Indiana mom who died on plane home from Domincan Republic died of natural causes

Indiana mom who died on plane home from Domincan Republic died of natural causes

The Indiana mom who perished last month while flying home from vacation in the Dominican Republic died from a tear to one of her neck arteries, her brother said Thursday.

Stefanie Smith, a 41-year-old mother of two teenagers from Danville, suffered a carotid artery dissection, Chris Volz said.

This condition, which affects the major blood vessels that supply blood to the brain, is the most common cause of strokes in younger patients, according to Penn Medicine and the National Library of Medicine.

Smith was flying home on flying on Feb. 28. when she suddenly went into convulsions and the plane was diverted to the Turks and Caicos where she died at the Cheshire Hall Medical Centre, according to The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force.

Volz said earlier that he was not aware of his sister having any pre-existing health conditions. He said she was an avid exerciser who continued to work out even while on vacation with her boyfriend.

Smith’s body is expected to be returned to Indiana sometime next week, Volz said.

Corky Siemaszko

Corky Siemaszko is a senior reporter for NBC News Digital.

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