AS dozens of mourners filed into the home outside Lisbellaw of Trevor Dane who died following a seizure on Monday his sister Roberta O’Neill discovered an unplayed voicemail from her brother.
The 39 year old who was found dead in his kitchen had phoned his sister weeks ago to warn her to be careful on the roads. She didn’t realise she had received the message and as his body lay in repose while friends and family paid their respects she listened to the words of her little brother.
“He told me to be careful because it had been snowing, he said if you need me to take the kids or anything I am here. He said, don’t go out Roberta, it’s too slippery,” she said, fighting back tears.
“I am never going to get rid of that voicemail, I didn’t even know I had it. I was in bits when I heard it, it made my heart melt. I still can’t believe it,” Mrs. O’Neill told The Impartial Reporter. 
Mrs. O’Neill, who is married to Rodney and has two children; Thomas (13) and Katie (11), said Mr. Dane was always looking out for her and their brother Brian. 
“He would have been testing the roads to make sure they were OK, that was him. He was very caring, if you needed anything you just had to lift the phone and he’d be there.”
The sadness was palpable in the village yesterday (Wednesday) with residents and neighbours left reeling from the heartbreaking news and for Mrs. O’Neill it has been “a huge shock.”
Despite the pain she says she is getting some comfort from the many messages of support from her brother’s friends and neighbours who have been visiting the home on the Lough Eyes Road. 
“Being his big sister I never realised how much people thought of him, he has friends coming from everywhere. He was involved with the Christmas lights, the town itself, and the Twelfth. 
“And they are all ages of people coming to see him for the last time. The respect that they have for him, the tears, it has all been very touching,” she said. 
Mr. Dane, who worked on a number of farms, enjoyed socialising and last Thursday enjoyed visiting the Balmoral Show in Belfast with his friends. 
The Manchester United and Lisbellaw United fan was affectionately known as ‘The Crow’ due to an incident when he was younger in which he was almost injured after being mistaken for a crow while out shooting with his pellet gun. 
“He was out with family, cousins, I think. It was his jet black hair, they thought he was a crow and nearly shot him. But he enjoyed the craic and that name stuck ever since,” said Mrs. O’Neill. 
She says Mr. Dane suffered from the “odd seizure” and it is believed it was an epileptic fit that killed him. He last suffered a seizure on Christmas Day. 
“It would have come out of nowhere, he would shake and would start to go blue. You’d have to get him on the floor to help him through it. I think he must have had a big one, there was nobody here to help him. Brian came in and found him on the kitchen floor. He went up to my neighbours, they ran down and tried to resuscitate him but there was no pulse, it was too late,” she said. 
Mr. Dane’s funeral, conducted by M.G. Madill Funeral Directors, takes place this afternoon (Thursday) at Lisbellaw Parish Church at 2pm with the burial at Tattygare graveyard, yards from where his parents Thomas and Violet are buried.
“To lose your wee brother, it doesn’t seem real,” said Mrs. O’Neill, as the tears rolled down her face.