Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Stephen Gately may have died from hereditary heart problem

Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, leaves Calvia Cemetery in Majorca after visiting the body of Stephen Gately
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, leaves Calvia Cemetery in Majorca after visiting the body of Stephen Gately
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, leaves court in Palma Majorca after hearing the results of the autopsy
5/10/2009 Ronan Keating, his wife Yvonne and Stephen Gately arriving at The Pride of Britain Awards 2009, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, on Saturday afternoon, arrives at the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca, where fellow Boyzone members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch are staying following the death of their fellow band member. Picture date: Monday October 12 2009.
Mikey Graham of Boyzone walks in the grounds of the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately
Shane Lynch (centre) of Boyzone leaves the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately
Mikey Graham (right) of Boyzone and Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, on Saturday afternoon, walk in the grounds of the Mon Port hotel, in Majorca, following his death.
Ronan Keating of Boyzone walks in the grounds of the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately. Monday October 12 2009.
Ronan Keating (right) of Boyzone walks in the grounds of the Mon Port Hotel, in Majorca following the death of fellow band member Stephen Gately. Picture date: Monday October 12 2009.
Boyzone's Stephen Gately performing on stage at the Big Gig Weekend at the Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Boyzone (left to right), Shane Lynch, Mikey Graham, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately and Keith Duffy, perform on stage at the Big Gig Weekend at the Bath & West Showground
10/10/1996 Former Take That star Robbie Williams (bottom left) and pop star Peter Andre (bottom centre) join members of the Irish pop band Boyzone (left to right) Stephen Gately, Ronan Keating, Shane Lynch, Keith Duffy (front) and Mikey Graham, for a photocall prior to the 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards in London
8/5/2008 of Boyzone (left to right) Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynchy and Mikey Graham arrive at The Cauldwell Ball at the Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park, London.
12/9/1999 of Cerys Matthews, singer with Welsh pop band Catatonia, and Stephen Gately, member of boy band Boyzone, at the New London Theatre, Dury Lane, in London
5/2/2003 of Stephen Gately and Sinead O'Connor attend a party at The Old Billingsgate Fish Market, London, following Sir Elton's benefit gig at the Old Vic Theatre
26/5/2008 of Boyzone's Stephen Gately in concert at the Odyssey Arena Belfast.Gately
17/2/2003 of Stephen Gately as Joseph and Kay Murphy as Mrs Potiphar during a photocall for the new production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the New London Theatre in Drury Lane
5/7/1998 of The Prince of Wales talking with members of the band Boyzone Party in the Park, in aid of the Prince's Trust.
A cameraman films the house where Irish boy band Boyzone lead singer Stephen Gately died Saturday Oct. 11
Members of the Irish boy band Boyzone, Ronan Keating, left, and Mikey Graham, right, arrive with other members of the group at the Palma de Mallorca airport on Sunday Oct. 11, 2009.
Members of the Irish boy band Boyzone from left to right: Shane Lynch, Ronan Keating and Mikey Graham, arrive at the Palma de Mallorca airport, Spain, on Sunday Oct. 11, 2009.
Andrew Cowles, the husband of Boyzone star Stephen Gately, who was found dead at his home in the resort of Port Andratx, Majorca, on Saturday afternoon, leaves the Mon Port hotel, in Majorca, where fellow Boyzone members Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch were staying following the death of their fellow band member
Stephen Gately
Stephen Gately of Boyzone
Stephen Gately
File photo dated 8/5/2008 of Boyzone (left to right) Keith Duffy, Ronan Keating, Stephen Gately, Shane Lynchy and Mikey Graham arrive at The Cauldwell Ball at the Battersea Evolution in Battersea Park, London. Gately has died at the age of just 33. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Saturday October 11 2009. The Irish pop star and actor was on holiday with his long-term partner in Majorca when he 'tragically died' yesterday, according to the band's tour website. See PA story DEATH Gately. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
Boyzone
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
Boyzone's Stephen Gately
The crowd goes wild for Boyzone as they perform in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast.
Boyzone
Jemma Neely and Michele Moffat at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey
Caoimhe Campbell, Lauren Doherty, Meghann McKeever and Hayley Quinnell at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Margret Campbell, Francis Doherty, Maureen McKeever and Clare Campbell at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Jemma Neely and Michele Moffat at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Christine and Nollen Bannon at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Seanan Donnelly, Cara Donnelly and Michelle Corry at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Catherine McVeigh, Nadine Quinn and Aislinn Murray at the Boyzone concert in the Odyssey Arena, Belfast
Eoghan Quigg and Boyzone.

A post-mortem examination into the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately has shown that he died of a pulmonary oedema, an accumulation of fluid on the lungs, an official in Majorca said.

A judge in a court in Majorca's main city Palma said the 33 year-old's body could now be flown home to Ireland.

Toxicology tests are still believed to be ongoing, but police have previously said there were "no signs of suspicious circumstances" and the singer's family could be given permission to fly his body home today.

A lawyer for Mr Gately's family ruled out the possibility of suicide or the involvement of drugs.

Gerald Kean told GMTV: "This sort of thing does happen, we are absolutely happy that there is no foul play."

"[The family's] sole purpose and function at the moment is to try and get their son and brother home as quickly as possible."

Stephen Gately's grieving relatives have said they feel "vindicated" after the judge ruled the Boyzone singer died of natural causes.

The singer's mum, Margaret Gately, reportedly said: “As soon as I heard he had died I knew it was a heart problem."

Stephen’s father Martin has seen several relatives die prematurely from heart trouble.

The rest of the Gately family will have now medical checks to see if they too are at risk.

A man who was at Mr Gately's apartment the night he died has described finding the singer's lifeless body.

Georgi Dochev, 25, said he alerted Mr Gately's partner, Andrew Cowles, after finding him "very cold and white".

Bulgarian Mr Dochev is believed to have accompanied Gately and Mr Cowles back to the apartment in the resort of Port Andratx in the early hours of Saturday after a night out.

Mr Dochev has spoken to police who are investigating the death.

Members of Boyzone, Mr Gately's former band, returned home on Monday night after flying to the Spanish island on Sunday.

A spokesman said: "All the boys are home now. They went there to pay their respects and start dealing with the fallout of the situation.

"However, it's clear that them being there at the moment is bringing a lot more attention to the situation."

Ronan Keating, Keith Duffy, Mikey Graham and Shane Lynch met Mr Cowles yesterday at the Mon Port Hotel in the resort of Port Andratx, where they were staying.

The band said they were "completely devastated by the loss of our friend and brother, Stephen".

Mr Kean said Mr Gately had been in the apartment with Mr Cowles until after midnight on Friday, when he travelled to the town of Palma, about an hour's drive away.

He said a close family member spoke to Mr Gately at 12.30am Spanish time on Saturday (11.30pm British time) as he was getting ready to leave.

It is understood Mr Gately spent several hours socialising and was back in the apartment before 6am in Spain.

Mr Kean said: "We are not saying he was not drinking but eight hours is not something we accept."

He added that police had said they were not looking to speak to anyone else in connection with the death.

Mr Gately, who joined Boyzone in 1993 after answering an advert in Dublin to audition for Ireland's first boyband, shocked the pop music world 10 years ago when he announced he was gay.

He was introduced to Mr Cowles by Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish and the pair married in a civil union in 2006.

LUNG CONDITION RARE IN YOUNG PEOPLE

Pulmonary oedema is rare in people as young as Stephen Gately and is normally associated with heart problems, according to Dr Joe Kidney, a respiratory adviser to the Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke Association.

He said: “Pulmonary oedema is an accumulation of fluid on the lungs which you see in people with abnormal heart function.

"The commonest cause would be the heart not pumping properly. It is normally associated with fatal heart disease or heart attacks.”

Between 2001 and June 2009, 31 people in Northern Ireland died of pulmonary oedema.

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