An Australian man died after a severe sneeze attack. Such assault happened to Paul Doe (34) more often and that is why his wife Belinda was not immediately alerted when it was again on 2 September.
Sunday, September 2 was Father’s Day in Australia and Doe had been looking forward to it. It was only the second time that he was fourth since the birth of the son of the couple, Travis (18 months). The day, however, went different than expected.
The family was at home in Hunter Valley Sunday morning when Paul suddenly started sneezing terribly. “My son and I got up early that day and we went into the garden”, says Belinda to news channel 9News. “We heard that Paul had got up and walked around in the kitchen. And that he was sneezing.”
That happened often, so his wife was not immediately alarmed. “That was not uncommon for him,” Belinda continues. “It was actually a running joke that when he sneezed, that was not for once, but immediately for 20 times in a row. That was just who he was.”
Travis ran to the door to greet him but when he got there, his father did not show up. Belinda looked through the fly window and saw that her husband was lying on the floor with his eyes closed. “It was as if he was pretending to be snoring,” she says. “He did that more often. He thought it was hilarious to do that. So, I thought it was just that.”
Under the assumption that Paul was fooling them, she went in and as she approached, she noticed that something was wrong. Paul was unconscious. She immediately called the emergency services and they tried for another hour to resuscitate him, but without result. The man died.
It is still waiting for the official results of the inquest, but a first analysis of the facts indicates that Paul Doe suffered from emphysema (a condition where the lungs are stretched more than normal while the internal microstructure of alveoli is partially lost) and a defective heart valve. That could have made him fatal by sneezing.
The couple did not have a life insurance policy. “During our relationship, Paul and I struggled to make ends meet and that life insurance was something we wanted to arrange if we had saved a little more and we could afford it. It was in our minds. As a young couple you often think that you still have all the time in the world, but that is not always the case.”