'Double tragedy': Grief-stricken mom dies of broken heart three days after finding her son dead at home
COOBER PEDY, AUSTRALIA: The local community of Coober Pedy is grappling with a triple tragedy this week after a heartbroken mother died just three days after her son died. And, a couple of days later, the death of a firefighter was also reported.
34-year-old Goran Ilich died on November 12, when his body was tragically discovered by his mother Elizabeth. Goran was reportedly a popular member of Coober Pedy, a remote town located 850km north of Adelaide, where most of the estimated 2,000 residents pride themselves in living at the so-called "opal capital of the world." A local paper paid tribute to Goran, saying he was a well-liked individual among locals. However, his cause of death is yet to be released at this time.
"Goran Ilich was popular among all age groups," the Coober Pedy Regional Times wrote in a tribute. "He had a natural charm and was well-mannered and polite." As mentioned, Goran's mother passed away just three days after his death, with locals calling it a "double tragedy." The Regional Times reported, "In the early hours of Monday morning, a grief-stricken Elizabeth Ilich awoke with chest pains and called friends for assistance. An ambulance was called but Ms. Ilich passed away in the hospital some hours later. Friends have related that Ms. Ilich had a heart condition and believe that the grief from her son's death caused a heart attack."
Loved ones set up a GoFundMe following the loss of Goran, describing him as "a beautiful soul taken away too soon." The fundraiser added, "Everyone that interacted with Goran knew he was different, he could talk to anyone and charm them with his charisma and personality. Goran has left an impact on all of us in so many different ways and so many other cities." The campaign has raised just over $43,000 with 178 donations at the time of publication.
Locals and friends of Goran posted tributes on the fundraiser. "Our most sincere condolences. May God give you all strength," one offered. "Condolences to the family. Goran will be forever missed and the world will always be less bright without him," another added. "Goran will be forever missed and the world will always be less bright without him,” someone else mourned. Meanwhile, his pal Luka Belosevic, who organized the fundraiser, paid his respects on Facebook. "RIP my brother Goran Ilich. I'll miss you so much," he wrote.
The Coober Pedy community, however, was faced with yet another tragedy when a local firefighter died on Friday, November 18. The local paper described Jayden Watts as a beloved part of opal town. "We pay our respects as we mourn the loss of Jayden, a much loved and respected community member, family man, partner, father, son, brother, friend, businessman, volunteer, and much more," the Regional Times wrote. One local resident paid tribute to all three who died within the span of a week.
"What a horrible week for the community. We have lost 3 beautiful members of our town," wrote Christine Butler. "Firstly Goren Ilich, then just days later his mum, my friend, Elizabeth, and then in just a few more days Jayden Watts. This year has seen us say that final goodbye to far too many of our friends and neighbors and I for one am looking forward to the end of the year." She added, "I extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Elizabeth and Goren Ilich and to the family and friends of Jayden Watts. My thoughts and prayers are for you all."