Dad dies from sneezing fit on Father’s Day
A DAY before Paul Doe collapsed from a sudden sneezing fit, he was at work telling his colleagues how excited he was for his second Father's Day.
The 34-year-old dad was in his Hunter Valley home on September 2, a home he and his wife Belinda had only recently bought, when he started vigorously sneezing.
"My son and I were up earlier than him and doing some gardening. We heard that Paul had gotten up. I heard him walking around in the kitchen and he started sneezing," Ms Doe told 9News.
"This was normal for him. It was a running joke if he sneezed he didn't just sneeze once, he sneezed 20 times in a row. That was just him."
The couple's 18-month-old boy Travis heard his dad sneezing and ran to greet him at the door but when he made it, Mr Doe wasn't there.
Ms Doe managed to peer through a screen door and saw her husband on the ground with his eyes closed.
"It sounded to me like he was fake snoring. He was a larrikin, he thought it was absolutely hilarious to pretend that he was fast asleep so that's what I thought he was doing," Ms Doe said.
Still thinking it was a joke, Ms Doe stepped inside the first home they'd bought together and realised something was wrong.
Despite working on her husband for 20 minutes and then paramedics doing CPR for an hour, the young dad couldn't be saved.
A full post mortem is still to be completed but initial results indicate Mr Doe was suffering from emphysema and had a faulty aortic valve.
Since Mr Doe's death, some of his colleagues set up a GoFundMe for the young family.
The page exceeded its $20,000 goal in less than a week and has raised more than $22,500 to help with funeral costs and to financially assist Mr Doe's grieving family.
"What has happened is beyond comprehension and we are all still coming to terms with Paul leaving us at such a young age," Mr Doe's colleague Kylie Tanks wrote.
"Paul was a valued member of our Entire Concrete team, always happy and smiling.
"Paul and Belinda had just bough their first home here in the Hunter, which they had worked really hard to get into.
"Paul being so young was obviously not prepared for this and that is why we are working hard to try and raise as much money as we can, to allow Belinda some breathing room while she comes to terms with her loss and a future without Paul."
Mr Doe did not have life insurance and had no coverage with his superannuation account which means the money raised on the GoFundMe page will be vital to the young family.
"Paul and I, we really struggled financially our whole relationship and getting life insurance was always in the back of our minds but it was something that we thought when we are a little bit better off, when we can afford it, we will do it," Ms Doe told 9News.
"It was just something that as a young couple you know that you need to do but you think you have all the time in the world."