Danie Dercksen (37), a South African who’d been farming in North Dakota in the US, fell ill on his way home.
The young farmer was on his way home to SA to propose to his girlfriend, who lives in Lephalale, Limpopo, when he suddenly fell ill between his connecting flights. He was taken to a hospital in Chicago.
Danie passed away on Tuesday after suffering an aneurysm.
Erma Weber (25), Danie’s girlfriend, who’s a teacher, told YOU she was too shocked to speak about his death, only saying, “He’d been on his way to propose to me.”
On Monday she shared her excitement on Facebook about Danie’s return. “My most beautiful person is almost on his way home. Your welcome-home gift and cupcakes are waiting for you. I’m [beside] myself with excitement.”
Sadly, Danie never made it home.
Manuel Fick, a friend of his who works at an American recruitment agency, wrote on Facebook that Danie’s death was a huge shock.
Danie had apparently complained of serious back pain on his first flight from North Dakota. “When he landed in Chicago, he was taken to hospital where he suffered an aneurysm and died,” Manuel said. He confirmed that Danie was planning to propose.
Several friends and family members have posted on Danie’s Facebook page, expressing their condolences.
“Daantjie, I don’t have words. As I sit here typing, the tears are streaming down my face . . . My heart is broken. Rest in peace, Daantjie. Love you long time,” wrote Nonnette Denny, a friend of his.
Another friend, Hendri van Wyk, posted a pic of himself with Danie captioned: “Today I didn’t only lose my brother but I lost my best friend. He was always there to help and support me no matter what. It still doesn’t feel real to me! All I can say is that I’ll miss you my small big brother, and I know you’re in a much better place right now.”