Family faces long wait for answers in Cuba death of Calgary man
By NADIA MOHARIB, Calgary Sun
Last Updated: May 4, 2010 7:03pm
While waiting for answers behind his death, the family of a Calgarian
who collapsed during a Cuban vacation are trying to navigate red tape to
bring him home.
Rick Shaughnessy died shortly after collapsing Saturday while on the
island holiday with his girlfriend.
The unexpected death leaves the 55-year-old's four children — two sons
and two daughters all under age 30 — struggling without answers to what
led to their father's death and anxiously waiting to get him home, his
daughter Meagan said.
"It's just a mess, an absolute mess," the 29-year-old said Tuesday.
"It's been really tough, but he's my dad, he's worth it — doing all this."
The family paid $9,000 to take Shaughnessy's body to Havana — where an
autopsy was done — and fly him home to Canada.
But they have been told it could be three to six months before they get
the findings to explain why the otherwise seemingly health man died.
His daughter said her father was the picture of health who never smoked
a day in his life, didn't drink and was well known for his love of
hockey and golf.
"He put some young guys to shame," Meagan said of his apparent health
"He was a good father, a really good, dad ... we want the truth."
Meagan said her dad had gone for breakfast that morning, done some money
exchange and was at the resort bar to have a coffee when he collapsed.
He had been complaining of a swollen ankle and a stiff calf shortly
before, but his family still doesn't know if he died of natural causes
or maybe something like a bug bite.
"He was in the process of sitting in a chair when he started
convulsing," she said.
The body of Shaughnessy, a former Sun employee, is expected to be
returned to Calgary later this week.
Longtime friend Reg Skippen said it's hard not knowing what happened.
"I've known him for probably 25 years," he said.
"It's very upsetting."