A YOUNG university student was visiting her aunt in Paris for the Easter vacations when she died of an unexpected heart attack.
Rhea Hourigan, 19, was in the shower when her aunt heard a noise and discovered her unresponsive.
Only hours before her death, photos show a grinning Rhea in front of Paris icons such as the Arc de Triomphe.
The fatal tragedy occurred following a day of exploring the city on electric bikes.
Polly Townhill, a friend of the family, told the Mirror: “She’d been there [the shower] for quite a long time, so her Auntie knocked to say ‘Is everything all right you coming out?’
“She answered her, Rhea said: ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m on my way out.’ Then she heard a bang.”
The young student, who had no known heart issues, was unable to be saved by paramedics.
Rhea will remain in Paris till an autopsy is performed, after which her corpse will be sent to Shirley in the West Midlands.
The family is struggling because they require an interpreter, which costs £90 per page and does not explain her autopsy until it is performed.
Polly continued: “She had full travel insurance but it hasn’t covered what they need. There’s so much red tape over there and they have to treat her death as mitigating circumstances.
“It would still be a tragedy without this, but her parents cannot see their child. They are desperate to bring her home.”
Rhea worked at her local Nando’s and was in her first year of university at Durham, where family said “she was making so many friends”.
Grieving mum Jo posted to Facebook: “Our only comfort is that she was so happy and had had such a brilliant day seeing the sights of Paris, she wouldn’t have known what had happened and didn’t suffer.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with funeral costs and the red tape they’re facing in France.
Organiser Dawn Buchanan posted on it: “It is with a heavy heart I am setting up this fundraiser for a beautiful young lady Rhea Hourigan who was tragically taken from this world on Saturday 29th April leaving her doting parents Jo and Dom, brother Joel and grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends totally and utterly devastated.
“I totally understand times are tough for everyone at the moment but anything at all you may be able to spare to help this very special family in their time of need would be so much appreciated.”