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21st Jun 2023

Derry teen who died on holiday in Bulgaria was unaware of deadly heart condition

Daniel Smyth

The family of a teen who tragically died while on holiday in Bulgaria last week have spoken out, giving new information on the cause of his death.

They confirmed that Daniel Smyth’s post-mortem showed the 19-year-old had cardiac arrhythmia, which is an irregular heartbeat.

Those close to him confirmed that the Derry man was unaware of his condition and that during the family holiday, he suddenly collapsed and died instantly.

Speaking to the Mirror, Daniel’s cousin Ellen Devenney-Adams said: “He had a heart condition, which he did not know about. It was a ticking time bomb basically because it was inevitable, it just happened to occur when he was on holiday.”

She went on to confirm that he went to bed early on Saturday night because he was not feeling well. He woke in the early hours as a result and went into the bathroom, where he collapsed.

He reportedly fell against and broke part of the toilet, shower door and sink.

The incident led to a flood in the bathroom, which leaked down to another floor, and alerted staff in the hotel. They came to the room to investigate what had happened and discovered his body.

Ellen continued: “We got a phone call with news about the post-mortem [on Monday]. Doctors found he had this irregular heartbeat, called cardiac arrhythmia.

“He was a fit and healthy 19-year-old boy otherwise. It was just one of those things. His family are heartbroken and gutted. No one saw this coming at all.

“I can’t imagine what they [immediate family] are feeling because Daniel was so close to everyone.”

An online fundraising appeal was organised by his cousin Ellen to raise funds to cover Daniel’s repatriation and funeral costs.

A total of €18,600 has been raised so far, after an initial target of €5,800 was set at the time of its publication.

If you would like to donate to the page, you can find details on GoFundMe here.