An Arkansas father died August 19, shortly after helping his son move into his Arkansas State University dorm room, according to a Today report.
Jeremy Tillman, 45, of Russellville, was a devoted father, according to his fiancee, Elizabeth Goodson.
“He came through the door and he was in obvious distress,” Goodson described his moving-in day incident. “He just had a very sudden medical event as we were moving things in.”
“I guess he may have strained too hard.”
ASU police were dispatched to the 2500 block of Danner Ave. on the campus shortly before 10 a.m., following reports of a man who stopped breathing, according to a police report.
The responding officer said several people had already begun administering CPR before he arrived, according to a WSAZ report.
They administered several rounds of CPR but Tillman could not be revived, according to the police report.
Another officer stated in the report police were handed an automated external defibrillator to deliver an electric shock in an effort to restart Tillman’s heart. AEDs are devices used in cardiac arrest cases.
Tillman was transported to St. Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro where Goodson died, according to the Today report.
“I will say the school did a very good job of assisting in every way possible and making sure everyone was moved,” Goodson said.
Goodson painted a picture of Tillman as a loving father to their blended family of 11 children.
“He has children that are his and children that aren’t biologically his and he just took everyone in and loved them like his own so he is deeply loved by all of his children,” she said.
“If he could help it he would never miss any of their events and he was always there and I feel like as a father he was always understanding.”
The couple were recently engaged, and this sudden loss has turned their world upside down, the WSAZ report noted.
“There is just a void in our lives that will just never be filled, he was irreplaceable,” she said, adding their relationship was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of love, “I know a lot of people often say it but he never met a stranger, he was always really friendly, outgoing and everyone loved him.”
“As a family everyone just leans on one another,” Goodson added. “We have a good circle of friends and this is a great community to lean on everyone just kind of rallies around one another.”
Jeremy Tillman loved shooting guns, working on cars and most of all, spending time with his family, according to his obituary from Cornwell Funeral Home.
Tillman’s funeral was conducted Wednesday morning in Dardanelle.
He is survived by six children, Hannah Brazil (Cody), Jace Tillman, Jayden Tillman, Jaxon Cain, Scarlet Tillman; his parents, James and Shirley Hilliard; siblings, Jaymi Tillman (Missy), Gene Hilliard (Janae), Clay Hilliard (Kelly), Dana Brunet (Mickey); two grandchildren, Asher Brazil, Hayes Brazil and numerous nieces and nephews.
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