Tragedy struck when Lincolnshire-born Thomas Arthur, 27, and his partner Carolyn went missing while exploring Tayrona National Park on October 19, 2019, an inquest heard. A vet collapsed and died in a tropical storm while out walking in Colombia after his drink was spiked with cocaine at a local music festival, his widow has revealed.
Carolyn, who met her partner of four years at a practice in Aberdeen, said: “We took a wrong turn and ended up in an area that was difficult to walk and Thomas had run out of breath. After more walking he was in bad shape and at first we thought he had heat exhaustion. We were trying to get to a shelter for help when he collapsed.
Thomas Arthur Age
Thomas Arthur was 27 years old.
Thomas Arthur Collapsed and died in a tropical storm while hiking with his wife
Carolyn put Thomas in the recovery position while she sought help at a nearby shelter. However, a tropical storm hit Playa Brava, where he had collapsed. With no boat or helicopter capable of reaching them, Carolyn desperately tried to save Thomas by performing CPR. But she never regained consciousness.
An autopsy revealed traces of cocaine in his bloodstream that may have contributed to the heart attack. Ms. Arthur said she was “shocked”. She believed the drug came from drinks they had at a music festival a few days before the tragedy.
The Cleethorpes Council inquest heard that Thomas grew up in nearby Kirton on Lindsey before moving to London and studying to become a vet. After meeting Carolyn at a veterinary practice in Aberdeen in 2015, the couple moved to Edinburgh the following year and got married.
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Coroner Marianne Johnson recorded a narrative verdict, saying: “Thomas trained and worked as a veterinarian and was kind, caring, and loving to his patients.” ‘While walking in Colombia, he and his wife took a wrong turn, so the walk took longer than they thought.
“By the time they got to the beach, he had suffered heat exhaustion and collapsed when his wife put him in the recovery position. Both oxygen and CPR were unsuccessful and he passed away.
They have shown us that his death was an acute heart attack, related to acute heart failure. Cocaine in his system is believed to be a possible cause of sudden death because of what it does to his heart. ‘Mrs Arthur was unaware and she was surprised to hear this. She suggested that they may have been exposed to it at a music festival they had been to.
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