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First year Durham student dies after suffering a cardiac arrest whilst on holiday in Paris

Rhea Hourigan has been described as a ‘bright shining star’

A first year student at Durham University has passed away from a cardiac arrest whilst on holiday in Paris.

19-year-old Rhea Hourigan was visiting her Aunt when she collapsed in the shower in the early hours of the 29th May.

Her family say there is no known family history of cardiac disease or any previous health issues.

Rhea’s mother, Joanne, has called Rhea a “bright shining star” with “so many plans, dreams, and aspirations”, whilst friends describe her as a “beautiful girl taken so young”.

In a post on Facebook, Joanne said that Rhea “hadn’t even finished her first year of uni which she absolutely loved up in Durham and had made so many good friends.

“Our only comfort is that she was so happy and had had such a brilliant day seeing the sights of Paris. She wouldn’t have known what had happened and didn’t suffer”.

Rhea was a business and management student at Van Mildert college, originally from Birmingham.

The Master of Van Mildert college, Tom Mole, released the following statement to Van Mildert students following Rhea’s death: “Rhea was a popular and active member of our community, with many friends in College.

“She was working hard towards her degree and was full of plans for the summer and beyond. Her death has come as a great shock to us all.

“I have spoken to Rhea’s parents and offered our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends at this distressing time. They will be receiving our full support. I have also spoken with a number of Rhea’s close friends in College to offer the support they need.

“Please respect the privacy of Rhea’s family as they seek to come to terms with the loss of their much-loved daughter”.

Van Mildert are honouring Rhea with a book of condolences, which can be signed between 8am and 8pm in the college reception.

Details of a memorial to be held by Van Mildert have not yet been released.

A family friend has set up a Go Fund Me page aiming to “ease the financial burden” that the family will experience during this “devastating time”. If you would like to donate to Dawn Buchanan’s Go Fund Me page, the link can be found here.

Featured image via Facebook.

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