A SCOTS university student has died after suddenly contracting a severe lung infection.
Alex Nordquist, 24, a student at Dundee University and member of their snow sports club, passed away on Sunday evening after being taken to hospital last week.
He had climbed Kilimanjaro earlier this year, and had also competed in qualifying rounds for Winter Olympics as a snowboarder.
Today his father, Robert Nordquist, paid tribute to his son in an emotional online post.
Robert wrote: “My heart screams with pain as I write these words - our big, beautiful, bounding, exuberant Alex has left us.
“He was taken far too soon and we will never be graced by his presence again.
“He experienced multiple organ failure and a severe lung infection, plus reduced blood flow to his brain. In hospital, these conditions, especially the infection in his lungs, only worsened, never improved.
“Alex’s exuberant personality, larger-than-life persona, resounding voice that carried any room, wondrous embrace and the way he made you feel better just by being near him, will not be with us again.
“We are so heartbroken; it is a hole that cannot be filled.”
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Robert said his son “wanted to be at the action end of life and would have made a real contribution - if only he had had his chance”.
He added: “Something terrible has happened but we were blessed to share him for this too short of a time - for this we will be eternally grateful.”
Alex was studying international relations, and was the social coordinator for the university’s ski and snowboard club.
He was taken to hospital suffering from multiple organ failure, a severe lung infection, and reduced blood flow to the brain.
His condition worsened in hospital, and he died on Sunday evening.
Robert - who flew over from the family home in New York to be with his son - praised the quick thinking of Alex’s flatmates in raising the alarm on Tuesday last week.
He said: “The fast action by his flatmates gave Alex a chance and gave us an opportunity to say goodbye while he was still with us.
“We were also blessed to spend these last days with Alex and his great friends at Dundee.
“We shared stories and read the comments of friends from around the world and see that our son has had a positive impact on so many in so little of a time.
“Alex loved Dundee; he loved his University; he loved his area of study; and, especially, he loved his many, many friends.”
Alex’s uncle, John Firth, also paid tribute to the student, calling him “a firecracker of a guy”.
John added that Alex had competed as a snowboarder in qualifying for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro earlier this year.
John said today: “He was like a supernova. He lived life to the fullest.
“He was smart, bright, popular and had a great sense of humour.
“I can’t believe he is gone. I’m still trying to get my head around it. God knows what his parents are going through.”
A spokesman for Dundee University said: “We have been deeply saddened by the news of the death of one of our students.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
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