A 51-year-old British tourist died minutes after arriving in Ibiza for a friend's stag party on 15 June, after suffering a blood clot in his leg during his Jet 2 flight from Manchester.
Paul Birchall, a father-of-two, had texted his partner of six years, 47-year-old Andrea Houseman, to tell her he had arrived safely at San Jose International Airport and to tell her he loved her, moments before collapsing as he reached passport control.
Birchall's friends and a doctor aboard the flight attempted to resuscitate the builder from Bolton, but he was pronounced dead shortly after collapsing, The Mirror reported.
Spanish doctors initially thought Birchall had suffered "Economy Class Syndrome," which reportedly occurs on long-haul flights where passengers suffer thrombotic events due to increased air cabin pressure.
A Home Office Pathologist ruled out that possibility during an inquest into Birchall's death on Thursday (9 November). The pathologist claimed Birchall could have died at any time regardless of the three-hour flight.
Dr Patrick Waugh said Birchall died from a sudden blockage in his lungs, a Pulmonary Embolism, which is caused by deep vein thrombosis. Birchall also suffered from heart disease, Waugh told the hearing in Bolton.
"This is common condition where you develop a blood clot in your leg and that block travels all the way up to your heart and gets stuck in your lungs which obstructs blood getting to your lungs and causes you to collapse," Waugh said.
Waugh said Birchall appeared to have narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart, which can lead to a heart attack. "In his position, if he has a clot in his left and is struggling to breathe already and has narrowing to his heart that isn't good," Waugh concluded.
According to the Mirror, Birchall's GP confirmed he had presented some muscular skeletal chest pain in 2016.
Sean Hines, Birchall's friend and fellow stag party attendee, told the inquest that Birchall only had one pint at a public house before they all headed to the airport.
"He just said that he had heartburn and that was it and he went and bought some 'Rennie's' He wasn't drinking heavily at all and he slept for most of the flight but did continue to complain of feeling unwell," Hines said.
He said that paramedics took around 30 minutes to reach Birchall at the airport, but that a soldier, medic and doctor tried to help him.
Birchall's sister, Vivienne Birchall, called her brother a hard worker who was part of a "very close family". She told the hearing: "His death came as a complete shock to us. There were over 300 people at his funeral."
In a statement following the hearing, Birchall's family said: "We miss Paul and just wish that he could come back, we will never get over it."