Mystery surrounds man’s death in Laos

MYSTERY surrounds the cause of death of a 38-year-old Irishman who died suddenly while on holidays in Laos.

Stephen Keogh of Alden Road, Bayside, Sutton, Co Dublin, was found unwell on his bed on January 19 by a friend.

Dublin County Coroner’s Court heard his friend Werner Hollmann came out of the shower to find Mr Keogh on his bed with froth coming from his mouth.

Mr Hollmann, who did not attend the inquest, tried to revive Mr Keogh and called for medical assistance but it took an hour to arrive, the inquest was told.

Mr Keogh was pronounced dead at a medical clinic in Vientiane, Laos, later that day.

His body was repatriated to Ireland from Thailand and arrived back in the county on January 27 last.

A postmortem was carried out at James Connolly Memorial Hospital in Blanchardstown, Dublin, but pathologist Dr Munah Sabah was unable to establish a cause of death.

One of the main findings was fatty change in the liver, predominantly related to alcohol.

The toxicology screening for alcohol and drugs was negative, but Dr Sabah said because Mr Keogh’s body had been embalmed, it may have altered with result.

The pathologist told the inquest that fatty changes in the liver can be associated with sudden death.

She said she was not able to rule out an un-witnessed seizure or a cardiac event.

The coroner Dr Kieran Geraghty said he was unable to give a cause of death and said that the death may be related to seizures or to a fatty liver.

He recorded a verdict of death by natural causes after the pathologist said there was nothing to suggest an unnatural death.

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