You’ve probably heard the expression “it smells like death.”
That’s exactly what passengers on a flight from Spain to the Netherlands experienced last month.
According to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, 58-year-old Andrey Suchilin, a respected Russian rock guitarist, had to be removed from a Transavia Airlines flight after an emergency landing in Portugal. Several passengers began to vomit and faint due to an extreme smell coming from Suchilin.
De Telegraaf reported that the crew sprayed the plane with air freshener and quarantined the man in the plane’s bathroom.
It turns out, it wasn’t lack of hygiene. He had an infection that caused his body’s cells to destroy themselves. Suchelin was taken to the hospital for treatment. But his condition quickly deteriorated. He died of a necrotic tissues disease on June 25th.
In a post on his Facebook page shortly after the diagnosis, he wrote, “The tragic and comic component of this story is: I got a disease that makes a man very smelly.”
The man’s wife wrote on his Facebook page that they had to battle the insurance company — who said Suchilin’s insurance was expired and refused to fund his treatment. She believes the lost hours in the beginning cost him valuable time that could have saved his life. She ended up asking friends to help fund his care.
In a statement to Newsweek, Transavia Airlines said the staff “sympathize with the family members and wish them a lot of strength in processing their loss.” The airline also said there was “no risk of infection” to other travelers and crew members.