Imagine learning of your boyfriend's death via Facebook. It seems incredible and crass but that is exactly what happened to Irish woman Aoife O'Brien, 31, from Naas, County Kildare.
Reading status updates that indicated her boyfriend had passed, O'Brien at first though someone was playing a sick joke on her. But after seeing a series of online condolences for Keith McMahon, 31, also from Naas, she began to fear the worst.
McMahon was found dead in his bedroom by a housemate on July 5.
'I was confused when he didn't text back. I logged on to Facebook and saw RIP messages on Keith's page. I thought it was a sick joke,' O'Brien told the Herald.
It startled her because the pair had enjoyed a Sunday dinner together just 48 hours before Mr McMahon's body was found.
'We met for dinner and we were both feeling tired so we decided not to have dessert,' O'Brien explained. 'He was complaining about a pain in his left shoulder.'
She sent several text messages to her boyfriend on Monday and Tuesday before eventually logging on to his Facebook page, where she learned the tragic and unexpected news.
O'Brien then rushed to Naas General Hospital but was she was refused permission to see her boyfriend's remains, although staff assured her he had been given the Last Rites.
McMahon reportedly had a number of longstanding sporting injuries and had been in two road collisions in 2008, where he sustained serious head and neck injuries.
Because of his injuries he had been prescribed numerous different medications, some of which were found in his system at the time of his death.
Coroner Professor Denis Cusack told the press that he had only recently been made aware of fresh concerns relating to prescription drugs found in McMahon's system. Foul play is not suspected.
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