Belfast Telegraph

Post-mortem on Philip Hagan who died in Philadelphia is inconclusive

By Victoria Leonard

A post-mortem on the body of a 25-year-old Co Armagh man who died suddenly in America has not revealed the cause of his death, his grieving father has said.

Tynan man Philip Hagan, a former deputy head boy at The Royal School Dungannon, had been due to fly home to Northern Ireland this weekend to spend Christmas with his family.

However, he was found dead by emergency services on Saturday evening after they gained entry to his flat in Philadelphia's Marine Club Condominiums.

Philip, the youngest son of Aghavilly, Tynan and Middletown Rector Rev Matthew Hagan and his wife Jennifer, had lived in Philadelphia for the past two years and worked as an actuary at Cigna Health Care.

Yesterday, Rev Hagan told the Belfast Telegraph that Philip's body had been released to an undertaker in the US, and that the family are hoping his remains will arrive home within the next week-and-a-half.

"The Medical Examiners' Office has told us that the post-mortem hasn't shown what the cause of death has been," he said. "We are still awaiting tissue and blood samples, so that may change.

"Philip was fit and healthy, he liked his cricket and his rugby. What has happened was sudden.

"It is quite a relief that his body has been released to the undertaker. It just means that the process has started and the wheels are starting to turn and he will be back home.

"They think he will be back in the next seven to 10 days."

A graduate of actuarial science at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Philip had excelled academically, landing the job at Cigna Health Care after impressing the company during an 11-week internship as part of his degree.

The alarm was raised by his work colleagues in the US after Philip failed to arrive at work on Friday.

Headmaster of The Royal School Dungannon, Dr David Burnett, previously described Philip as an "absolute star, the kind of pupil you remember for all the right reasons".

"He was always looking out for other people, he was mature and helpful, selfless, responsible and acted with integrity," he stated.

Professor Anke Wiese, Heriot-Watt University's head of actuarial mathematics and statistics, described him as a "popular, hard-working young man who got on well with his peers and had a bright future ahead of him".

Rev Hagan thanked the local community for the support the family had received in the wake of his beloved son's death.

He said: "Myself, his mum and brother Jonathan will remember Philip as a very caring, loving, kind young man who will be sadly missed by his close family and friends.

"Philip had achieved a lot in his years, and it has been lovely to hear people's memories of him. It is such a tragic loss.

"I would like to thank the community, parishioners, family and friends for all their support and their words of sympathy and comfort.

"I would also like to thank the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, who are helping to bring Philip home."

Belfast Telegraph

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