A father who lost a teenage daughter in a tragic road accident has spoken of his family’s fresh heartbreak after his oldest son died suddenly on holiday.
Joe Cairnie, 31, was found dead in a hotel room in Bangkok, Thailand, on Sunday after worried friends raised the alarm when they were unable to contact him.
His devastated family are now planning to bring Joe home so he can be buried next to his sister Suzanne, who was just 15 when she was mown down by a car moments after stepping off a bus in Glasgow in 2006.
Their dad John, 50, from Milngavie, near Glasgow, spoke yesterday of his agony at losing a second child.
He said: “We are still coming to terms with losing Suzanne, and now Joe is gone too.
“I just can’t believe what has happened – and what makes it worse is that we don’t know the details surrounding Joe’s death.
“We’ve been told we will have to wait on the results of a postmortem, and that will take four to five days.
“We had no idea anything was wrong until two police officers arrived at my door on Monday and told me Joe was gone.
“I’m speaking with the consulate and just want to know what happened to my son.
“We don’t know if he was unwell, if his drink was spiked or if something else happened.
“It could be anything, we just don’t know. We’re numb.
“You just never think lightning will strike twice in one family, but it has.”
John spoke to his son on Friday, just moments before he boarded a flight from Heathrow to Bangkok.
Joe, who worked for Glasgow City Council before moving to Cambridge two years ago, was meeting friends during the 10-day trip.
John said: “It was his first holiday in years and he was looking forward to it.
“He was rushing to catch his flight when I spoke to him. I told him to enjoy the experience and be safe.
“I never thought it would be our last conversation.
“He was a great lad and the life and soul of our family.
“Although he moved down south, he would come up and visit a lot. He was working hard and had his whole life ahead of him.
“It’s just so tragic that he’s gone.
“We just want him back home because he’s so far away.
“Joe will be buried next to his sister Suzanne at Langfaulds Cemetery.
“All of the family are in bits, it’s just so hard to accept.”
Joe didn’t have travel insurance and a JustGiving page has been set up by his friend Oliver Mcdonald to help the family with the cost of repatriating the body.
By last night, more than £9500 had been raised.
John said the family were overwhelmed by the kind donations.
He added: “Joe was a popular boy and had so many friends.
“It was typical of him to go abroad with no insurance. He was happy-go-lucky and never thought anything would happen to him.
“He was important to a lot of people and after hearing of his death a close friend set up the page.
“We just want to do all we can to bring Joe home. It will cost thousands and we’ll also have to arrange the funeral.”
Mum Jayne Bates, who is divorced from Joe’s dad, posted on social media: “Cant believe this… Want too wake up and its all been a nightmare. Broken is a word. I’m nothing without you son. I love you with all my heart.
“Wish I could swap places with you. Oh joe your my world without you in it. I cant see a life. Please this can’t be real. Xx”
Joe’s siblings Michelle, 24, Stephanie, 20, and Michell, 17, are also heartbroken by the sudden loss.
Michelle posted a touching tribute saying: “I am in bits. Why has this happened?
“I love and miss you Joe so much. I just want you home so I can give you a big cuddle.
“I really wish this wasn’t true. I am absolutely heartbroken.
“I never ever wanted to feel loss like this ever again after Suzanne and now it’s happened again.
“I am crying myself to sleep tonight – that’s if I can sleep.
“We will bring you home Joe, don’t you worry, and we will give you a huge send-off. I love you so much”
The family home is filled with pictures of Suzanne.
The former pupil at Douglas Academy in Milngavie died after she was hit by a car when stepping off a bus in Maryhill Road in Bearsden to get a connecting one home.
Paramedics fought to save the teenager but she died from her injuries in hospital.
John said: “I don’t know how we will cope. It’s just so difficult losing two kids.
“We are struggling to process it at the moment. You just never think something like this will happen – it’s every parent’s worst nightmare.
“The kids are struggling to come to terms with it. It’s so much for any family to cope with.
“We miss them both so much.”
You can donate on the JustGiving page set up by Joe’s pal Oliver here.
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