Irishman dies after stroke while swimming in Greece

An Irish man who suffered a stroke while swimming in Greece has died after spending almost four months in hospital.

Onathan Tobin, 42, has been in critical condition in a hospital in Crete since the incident last July.

Mr Tobin (Jiles) from Youghal, Co Cork, has been an inpatient at Heraklion University Hospital in Crete since the 29th July tragedy.

He had lived in Crete for twelve months prior to the tragedy.

A special Go Fund me page has been set up to bring him home.

However, Labor TD’s Sean Sherlock for Cork East later raised the issue in the Dail.

This resulted in him being flown home in an ambulance last month thanks to the government’s treatment plan abroad.

Mr Tobin died peacefully at Cork University Hospital on Tuesday night.

He is survived by his parents, Margaret (Mag) and Shane, and his two brothers, Ryan and Aaron.

The funeral preparations are still being finalized.

On October 26, his mother posted on social media that she was delighted to have arranged an air ambulance for her son to fly home from Crete to Cork.

“Whatever happens, our Jonathan is coming home where he belongs. We couldn’t have done it without every single person who helped in some way,” she wrote.

In a post on Facebook, a family friend said they “received much comfort and comfort that family and friends were able to spend some quality time with him (Jonathan) and that he died here in Ireland surrounded by loved ones.”

“It’s been a long road since July but he is at his final resting place and suffering no more. His heart was strong to the end and that was only reflected in the person he was. To everyone who helped along the way – huge thanks. Arrangements follow.”

Meanwhile, Mag Tobin gave an interview to The Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s Red FM in early October, in which she said she received a call on July 30th to say that her son was lying face down in the was found floating.

“Apparently he was there like 12 minutes and there was a kid (saw him) and told his dad and they dragged him out and gave him CPR for twenty minutes on the beach until the ambulance came,” she said.

“They took 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.”

“No one saw him go into the water. The beach was crowded. They thought he was actually snorkeling.”

“He was on life support for six weeks. They’ve done brain scans and MRIs and right now there’s no brain activity. He’s not in intensive care. He’s on a ward.”

“We drove over for 12 days when it happened and we drove over again yesterday. We have to get him home.”
Mrs Tobin said her son could open one eye and blink and move his mouth a little.

She spoke to him for hours “unrecognized”.
Before moving to Greece he had lived in England for four or five years.

Mr Tobin stayed at home in Cork during the pandemic.

“He decided to go to Crete and live there. He was a plasterer. He was a great snooker player. He won the Münster championships a few years ago. He was great. Very friendly.

“(Before the accident) he was supposed to come home on September 7th. He had bought his ticket.”

She said doctors believed Jonathan suffered a stroke in the water.

“His mouth is a little crooked, so we think it was a stroke.”

Mag said last October she knew there was no chance of rehabilitation but wanted her son to die in Ireland surrounded by his loving family.

“He’s skin and bones. They feed him liquid food through his nose. We have a TD working for us and we hope to bring him to CUH. We talked about it (turning off his machine) but they said they can’t (in Greece) because his heart is still beating. There is no (chance of recovery).”

“You wouldn’t know how easy it would be for us to bring him home. We don’t think he will have much time left except for the time he left (we want him home). We just want him home here. We don’t want him dying alone over there.” Irishman dies after stroke while swimming in Greece

Fry Electronics Team

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