Family Searches for Answers After Father's Unexpected Death on Cruise Ship

John Perricone was on a cruise with his wife, his four young children and his sister when he became ill

A Romeoville family is desperate for answers after a 29-year-old father died unexpectedly on a family cruise to the Caribbean last week.

John Perricone was on a Carnival Cruise with his wife, his four young children and his sister when he became ill.

“He was tired a lot and he was sleeping more than normal,” said his sister Katie Perricone.

After a couple of days, Perricone was not getting better, so his wife Brittany took him to the boat’s infirmary. Then, things took a tragic turn.

“John started convulsing real bad and he looks at Brittany with a kind of ‘I'm sorry’ look and went limp and he was dead,” said Perricone’s father-in-law Lee Forseth.

The family said no other passengers on the cruise became ill and said his death remains a mystery more than a week later.

“We’re still not sure what happened,” said Pastor Scott Knollenberg from the Community Christ Church, where the Perricone family has been longtime members.

Family members say they are devastated by the loss.

“He was there when I needed him and he was there when I didn’t want him to be,” said Katie Perricone.

The Community Christian Church has started a fundraiser to help the family in the wake of the tragedy as Perricone was the sole provider for his wife and their four children, all under 7 years of age.

Family members said Perricone canceled his life insurance policy at the end of 2013 to "make ends meet."

"It was a very tough choice but at the age of 29 you think you can go for a year without it," Forseth wrote on the fundraising page.

Carnival Cruise has been in contact with the family, Knollenberg said, and the family said they do not suspect any foul play.

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