‘Fit and healthy’ man, 26, dies suddenly after ‘unusual chest pains’ during run

A 26-year-old was found dead on the floor of his apartment after he reportedly told his friend he was suffering unusual chest pains during one of his usual runs.

Matt Bower had called his friend while he was running in Tampa, Florida, and joked she should check on him in an hour, Essex Live reports.

But just an hour later, after Taylor had tried to contact Matt several times, she got in touch with his neighbour, who found him dead on his apartment floor where he had managed to run back to.

Because Matt, who is from Essex but was staying in America, died overseas it can take up to 16 weeks to do an autopsy.

Matt, who died on November 21, went to America three years ago to stay with his dad, in search of an adventure.

His sudden passing has shocked family and friends who now want to pay tribute to him.


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Lucinda Ward, 34, from Braintree, was best friends with Matt from a very young age.

She said he had an infectious laugh, spontaneous personality and would do anything to help the ones he loved.

Matt was part of a group of 20 friends who all grew up in Great Leighs together, including Lucinda.

One of the hardest parts of Matt's death is the uncertainty around why or how it happened. She said: "It's a complete and utter shock. None of us could comprehend the news."

As far as his loved ones knew, Matt didn’t have any serious health problems, he was rarely ill and frequently went to the gym.

Matt had two brothers and a sister, Michael, 32, James, 20, and Megan, 29, who he was very close to.


Two weeks before his death, Matt had been delighted to become an uncle for the first time after his sister gave birth to a beautiful little girl, Harriet, who he never had the chance to meet.

Matt moved to Tampa in Florida where he lived with a variety of friends and worked in bars and restaurants, always meeting new people.

Lucinda added: "He made some amazing friends out there and he did a lot of exploring of different places. I know he worked mainly in bars and restaurants but that was perfect for him because he met new people every day.”


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Since Matt passed away just two weeks ago, hundreds of friends have come forward to share their heartache at Matt's loss.

Lucinda's favourite memory of Matt is one of his silly jokes which they called 'tickle time’. ”He used to do this thing where he would tickle me at events all the time. He used to do it at weddings, anything serious, it was horrendous.

”It is one of the main things we are going to miss – he was the instigator to get everyone to join in."

Lucinda has created a GoFundMe page to raise money for Matt's family so that they can travel to Georgia for his cremation this Friday.

If any money is leftover, the family will donate it to a charity.

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