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Tragedy as Dad, 34, dies in Greek accident just a year after his young daughter passed away

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A dad has died in a tragic accident in Greece just a year after his young daughter died from an incurable disease.

Martin Rich, 34, was also dad to a five-year-old boy who was born with the same condition as his sister.

The tragedy-hit family are now trying to raise £10,000 to bring his body home and cover the cost of his funeral.

Police in Athens are investigating Mr Rich’s death, which they say was the result of a fall, but wife Michaela, 31, says the language barrier is making communication difficult.

The family have been battling obstacle after obstacle – Martin suffered a spinal injury in a crash in a Tesco car park in 2014, Michaela’s dad died in 2015 and their daughter Lyla Mae lost her battle with Non-ketotic Hyperglycinemia last August.

A devastated Michaela said: “It just seems to be one thing after another with our family. As soon as I found out about Martin’s death, I called my mum and she came straight over.

“No matter how old you get, you always need your mum. I feel so lost without him, I have never felt lost before. He was my soul mate.”

Martin Rich and wife Michaela pictured with daughter Lyla Mae in 2011 when they appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph talking about her rare condition. Layle Mae sadly died last year and Martin was tragically killed in an incident in Greece at the weekend
Martin Rich and wife Michaela pictured with daughter Lyla Mae in 2011 when they appeared in the Grimsby Telegraph talking about her rare condition. Layle Mae sadly died last year and Martin was tragically killed in an incident in Greece at the weekend
(Image: Grimsby Live)

Lyla Mae, was born in Grimsby’s Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in 2011 with the genetic condition which is thought to affect just two in every million people.

Tragically the following year in October 2012, brother Jensen was born with the same life-limiting condition.

It causes sufferers to have regular seizures and spend most of their time resting or sleeping. They have to spend a lot of time in hospital.

Shortly after Lyla Mae was born, Martin signed the lease for the Nottingham House Bistro in Seaview Street.

He had been working at the Coach House in Humberston before fulfilling his dream of running his own restaurant.

Michaela said: “Martin went into the army when he was 17-years-old. He also opened a restaurant in Cleethorpes. He was very proactive and very ambitious.”

This year would have marked the couple’s fourth wedding anniversary.

Martin and Michaela Rich with family on their wedding day
Martin and Michaela Rich with family on their wedding day

In 2013, they made the decision to move an hour-and-an-half down the road from Grimsby into a specially adapted bungalow in Sleaford to better suit their children’s needs and be near Michaela’s mum.

“Jensen won’t understand that daddy isn’t here anymore. It is his birthday on Halloween, he will be turning six. The boys are just heartbroken,” said Michaela.”

Martin leaves behind two other sons, TJ, 12, and Liam, 11, from a previous relationship.

“I lost my dad in 2015 and I know how bad that was, but I had him for 30 years. I can’t even begin to imagine what the boys are going through right now.

“Martin’s friends have contacted me to offer some support. I could leave the house today and travel the country and not come back to my house until a year’s time due to all the people who have offered help.

“I am overwhelmed and grateful for all the support. When you sit down, you realise there are people in other situations who would kill for this kind of support. It is mind-boggling.”

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: “Our staff are assisting the family of a British man who has died in Athens, Greece, and will continue to do all we can for them during this difficult time.”

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