THE death has occurred of a 42-year-old man from Youghal who was in a vegetative state since late July in a hospital in Crete after he had a stroke whilst swimming.
Jonathan Tobin (Jiles) of Youghal was an inpatient at Heraklion University Hospital in Greece since the accident occurred on the island of Crete on July 29 last. He had been living in Crete for twelve months prior to the tragedy occurring.
A GoFundMe page was set up to bring Jonathan home. However, Labour TD for Cork East Sean Sherlock subsequently raised the issue in the Dáil.
This led to Jonathan being flown home by air ambulance last week courtesy of the Government's Treatment Abroad Scheme.
Jonathan passed away peacefully at Cork University Hospital on Tuesday evening. He is survived by his parents Margaret (Mag) and Shane and his two brothers Ryan and Aaron. Funeral arrangements are being finalised.
On October 26 Mag posted on social media that they were delighted to have secured an Air Ambulance for Jonathan to fly home.
"Whatever happens our Jonathan is coming home where he belongs. We could not have done it without each and every single person who helped in any way."
In a post on Facebook today a family friend said that they had received "a lot of comfort and consolation that family and friends got to spend a little bit of time with him (Jonathan) and that he passed away here in Ireland surrounded by loved ones."
Mag gave an interview to the Neil Prendeville show on Cork's Red FM in early October in which she said that she received a phone call on the 30th of July last where she was informed that her her son, Jonathan, had been found floating face down in water.
"Seemingly he was there for about twelve minutes and there was a child (saw him) and told his dad and they dragged him out and gave him CPR on the beach for twenty minutes until the ambulance came.
"They brought him to the local hospital which didn't have the facilities for him so they drove him two and a half hours to the University Hospital in Heraklion.
"Nobody saw him going in to the water. The beach was packed. They thought he was snorkelling actually.
She said that Jonathan had lived in England for four or five years prior to his move to Greece. He stayed at home in Cork during the pandemic.
"He decided to go to Crete and live over there. He was a plasterer. He was a great snooker player. He won the Munster championships a few years ago. He was great. Very friendly.
Mag said doctors believe that Jonathan got a stroke in the water.
She said she knew that that there was no chance of rehabilitation but she wanted her son to die in Ireland surrounded by his loving family.