The heartbroken brother of a Derry man who passed away suddenly in the States yesterday has spoken of his family’s devastation at their loss.
Damien Friel says the family are still unsure of the cause of their elder brother Patrick’s sudden death in New York on Tuesday.
“Two days ago Patrick was taken to hospital with pains in his back,” he said. “It was then his organs shut down. When the organs shut down the brain stops functioning.
“The doctors in New York did everything they could for him, but they had to turn off the life support. It has been so hard for us being so far away, he was our oldest brother and he looked out for us all.
Patrick’s father Damien has been at his son’s side since he first took ill on Sunday, catching the first plane out. As have his aunts Donna and Jacqueline and best friend Peter O’Doherty.
“Our Patrick had gone to New York to make a better life for himself,” said Damien. “He had just finished his degree.”
He also revealed how his brother had run two marathons this year, including the Derry marathon, and had planned to run in the New York marathon.
“We have been overwhelmed by the kind messages, letters and facebook comments the family has received,” said Damien. “The many people who have contacted us is testament to how well thought of Patrick was. So many people have had us in their thoughts and prayers. The support has been overwhelming and it is keeping us going. I would like to thank everyone.”
Damien revealed it could be more than a week before arrangements are finalised to bring Patrick’s remains home to Derry.
He also thanked the people who have organised two charity nights to help the family raise the funds to bring him home.
A charity night will take place in Mason’s on Friday night and in Pitchers next Saturday to help raise funds to bring Patrick home.
Last night his close friend Glen Cassidy described Patrick Friel Curran as a “great fella.”
“He made an big impact on my life and he had the same effect on others,” he said. “Patrick was the kind of fella that that could make you laugh on a day you were at your lowest. He did so much for others and this showed in his charity work. He will be so sadly missed. In April he ran the marathon with myself and John Story from Fitzroys. Without him pushing me I wouldn’t have got over the finish line.”
Patrick, from Ballymagroarty is survived by his mum and Dad Linda and Damien, step mum Lorraine and siblings Damien, Kyle, Daryl, Samara and Rebecca and step siblings Michael and Cathy.