Patrick Friel Curran, a Derry native who moved to the U.S. this summer, died suddenly on Sept. 24, two days after being taken to the hospital suffering from back pain.

His devastated father Damien Friel and other relatives were at his side as doctors removed life support from the 23-year-old barman and marathon runner.

Damien Friel Jr. said that his older brother had just completed his university studies and had moved to New York “to make a better life for himself.”

“Two days ago Patrick was taken to hospital with pains in his back,” he told the Derry Journal. “It was then his organs shut down. When the organs shut down the brain stops functioning.”

Curran, who was from Ballymagroarty, was a popular barman in Derry City and a talented long distance runner who completed the Derry Marathon in June. He had planned to run the New York Marathon in November.

Friel said that his family is “overwhelmed” by the prayers and support they have received from Curran’s many friends. Charity nights are being organized to raise funds to help his family fly his brother’s remains home to Derry.

Curran’s friend Glen Cassidy told the Derry Journal that his pal was “a great fella.”

“Patrick was the kind of fella that that could make you laugh on a day you were at your lowest,” he said. “He did so much for others and this showed in his charity work. He will be so sadly missed.”