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Vacationing Calgary man dies in Mexico following sudden illness

Last Updated Feb 19, 2018 at 8:00 am EDT

CALGARY – A Calgary man who died in Mexico after suddenly falling ill while on vacation is being remembered for his loyalty.

Troy Black was with his wife, Lindsay, in Puerto Vallarta when he began vomiting blood on Thursday. Doctors then found a tear in his esophagus, said his friend Jonathan Denis, a lawyer and Alberta’s former justice minister.

Denis said he received a text message from Lindsay saying Black died from cardiac arrest on Saturday night.

How the tear happened is unclear, Denis said.

“My girlfriend and I were out with him and his wife maybe a couple of weeks ago,” he said.

“He was really looking forward to the trip.”

Black is the son of former Alberta MLA Pat Nelson, who served from 1989 to 2004. He had a commerce degree from the University of Calgary and was pursuing a graduate degree, Denis said.

News of Black’s illness spread on social media and a call for blood donors was posted to a support group on Facebook. The post says Black needed a transfusion because the hospital where he was being treated was running low on O-positive blood.

People who had never met Black came forward to donate, Denis said.

“If anything positive came out of this, it brought out the good in a lot of people,” he said.

Black worked as a special adviser to Denis while he was the minister of justice. Denis said Black was more than a co-worker — he was a friend.

“He was one of the most loyal people I’ve ever met. He was the type of guy who would always be there for you. He would always go the extra mile. He was kind. He had a great sense of humour,” he said.

“I’m just devastated. I can’t imagine how his family feels.”

Arrangements are being made to transport Black’s remains back to Calgary.