Hollywood actor Liam Neeson was in mourning last night after his 35-year-old nephew passed away five years after suffering devastating head injuries after a fall.
According to the Daily Mail, Ronan Sexton was on a night out with friends in Brighton, UK, in 2014, when he climbed on top of a phone kiosk on the city’s seafront at 4 a.m. as part of a drunken dare. But tragedy struck as he fell and landed on his head.
Sexton, who was a talented musician, was rushed to the nearby Royal Sussex County Hospital in critical condition. He was then transferred to Hurstwood Park Hospital in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, and has been receiving treatment for his injuries ever since.
He died over the weekend at the family home in Cushendall, Northern Ireland, surrounded by family and loved ones. The local parish priest, Father Luke McWilliams, told the Mail the family had asked for privacy as they mourn their loss.
Ronan’s accident in 2014 occurred just five years after Neeson lost his wife in similarly tragic circumstances. Natasha Richardson passed away at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, just two days after she hit her head in a fall while skiing in Canada. ABC News reported that her cause of death was an epidural hematoma due to a blunt impact to the head.
At the time of her fall, an ambulance arrived to treat Richardson, but she had waved it away as she felt fine at that point. She walked back to her hotel, and it was two hours later when paramedics received a second call.
Speaking to RTE about the death of his wife in 2017, Neeson said he threw himself into his work to cope with the loss.
“I’m not good without work,” he explained. “I just don’t – I just don’t wallow too much. You know? And I just didn’t want to – especially for my boys – seem to be wallowing in sadness or depression.”
“It hits you, it’s like a wave,” Neeson continued. “You just get this profound feeling of instability… The Earth isn’t stable anymore and then it passes and it becomes more infrequent, but I still get it sometimes. [Her death] was never real. It still kind of isn’t.
“There are periods now in our New York residence when I hear the door opening, especially the first couple of years… Any time I hear that door opening, I still think I’m going to hear her.”
Neeson is reported to be devastated by the death of his nephew, too. He still lives in New York, but regularly flies back to Northern Ireland to visit his sister and Ronan’s mother, Bernadette Sexton, and the whole family.