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Tributes to Paul Cosgrave, who died after fall at home in Sellindge

A dedicated carer died after falling down the stairs at his home – just days after celebrating his 51st birthday.

Former Royal Marine Paul Cosgrave, of Barrow Hill, Sellindge, suffered a brain injury and heart attack in the freak accident.

The music lover, who was rushed to the William Harvey Hospital, broke his neck, jaw and five ribs.

Paul Cosgrave at Glastonbury, where his ashes will be scattered
Paul Cosgrave at Glastonbury, where his ashes will be scattered

His mother, Joyce, has now paid a glowing tribute to her son, who died on Saturday, January 27, two days after the fall.

“He was a wonderful person,” said Mrs Cosgrave, a former PE teacher at Kennington CE Academy in Upper Vicarage Road.

“I don’t think he realised how caring for people was his special thing as it just came naturally to him.

“He thought it was the norm to care for people and he was always polite and helpful.

“Paul had even signed the donor register and his heart has already been given to a man in need.”

Mr Cosgrave, who studied media at Ashford College and lived with his mother, had been with friends at the Dukes Head pub in the village when he returned home feeling unwell on Thursday, January 25.

Paul Cosgrave
Paul Cosgrave

“He went to the pub but said he wasn’t feeling terribly well,” Mrs Cosgrave said.

“I assume because he wasn’t feeling very well he decided to go upstairs and have a lay down, then he must have decided to come back down but fell.

“I think he must have passed out before falling.”

Emergency services, including the air ambulance, rushed to the scene just after 7pm, but Mr Cosgrave had been without oxygen to the brain for 10 minutes.

Ambulance staff resuscitated him and he was put on a life support machine, but he later died in hospital.

Mrs Cosgrave, who also worked at Southlands Community Comprehensive School in New Romney before switching to Kennington, said her son loved working as a carer.

After becoming a corporal in the Marines, Mr Cosgrave – who previously lived in New Romney – joined the May Lodge care home in Sellindge and became deputy manager.

Paul Cosgrave was a corporal in the Royal Marines
Paul Cosgrave was a corporal in the Royal Marines

A keen Arsenal fan, he then spent a year working as a doorman in Ibiza before joining Carlile Lodge in Grimston Avenue, Folkestone, where he was a senior carer.

“Paul loved his job,” Mrs Cosgrave, 76, added. “When he played, he played, and when he had to work, he worked really hard.

"He was so laid back and saw the humour in things, he really enjoyed the staff and the clients at his work.

“He would have made a great dad I am sure, too, as he idolised his niece and nephew. Paul will be sadly missed by his father, Bill.”

Mr Cosgrave’s ashes will be spread at Worthy Farm in Glastonbury, where he had attended the summer music festival for 10 years.

"When he played, he played, and when he had to work, he worked really hard" - Joyce Cosgrave

Mrs Cosgrave – who retired from teaching in 2012 after 13 years at Kennington – praised the emergency services who rushed to her home on the day of the accident.

“I couldn’t fault them,” she said. “The first paramedics were here within five minutes and everyone at the William Harvey was really good.

“They were incredible and I would like to thank them all.

“It is a real eye-opener into how good the health service and hospital is.”

Mr Cosgrave’s sister, Lynn, set up a JustGiving page to raise £675 for the East Kent Hospitals Charity following her brother’s death.

It has already surpassed its target, raising more than £2,000.

Lynn said: “Paul was a very loving, loyal, kind person as anyone who knew him would confirm. He will be terribly missed as a son, brother and most of all an uncle to my two children who he adored.”

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