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Tragic end to search in Grenada for B.C. medical student

An extensive search for a B.C. man who was studying medicine in Grenada came to a tragic end this week.

Liam Fisher’s body was found days after he went missing while on an organized run last weekend. His parents, who live in Pemberton, say foul play is not suspected but the cause of death is not yet known.

“He’s an endurance athlete and trained very hard so I don’t know what’s happened,” said Liam’s grieving father, Hugh Fisher, who is a physician.

“We’d love to have that explanation, but at the end of the day, asking all those questions and even getting answers doesn’t change what happened,” he said.

It’s hoped an autopsy may provide more information.

“It sounds to me like possibly some kind of medical emergency happened during the race,” Fisher said.

Liam Fisher, who was 34 and previously owned a gym in North Vancouver, was a medical student at St. George’s University in Grenada.

“He just seemed to love to learn. He thrived at the medical school he was going to,” said his father, adding that his son was earning top marks at the school.

“He was the happiest…I’d seen him when we talked at the end of last week,” Hugh Fisher said.

But last Saturday, while doing a short, organized running race, Liam vanished.

“He was in with the elite pack most of the way and then faded toward the end, and never turned up at the finish line,” said Hugh Fisher.

“Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to trigger any alarms,” he said.

Liam’s disappearance was not reported until Monday when he failed to show up for classes.

A large search was then launched, involving hundreds of people, including many of his classmates.

His parents received the devastating news of their son’s death Tuesday night after his body was found in a treed area.

“Where they actually found him close to the finish line but hidden, it’s just like if there’s a thousand cracks he fell through them all,” his dad said.

As Liam’s parents struggle through waves of grief, their son is being remembered in many ways, including for his love of high-level sports.

“He was a Canada Games gold medalist in rowing when he went to UVic,” said Liam’s dad.

Liam’s parents said their son would also want to be remembered for being kind and giving.

A few years ago, he spent almost 24 hours flipping a 300-pound (136 kilogram) tire to raise money for cancer research in memory of his sister.

“His sister Riva died, it will be six years ago on Sunday, of brain cancer. And that really changed him,” said his mom, Hillary Downing, who is now grieving the loss of a second child.

“He did a lot of work raising money for cancer, but he also did a lot of fundraisers for mental health,” she said.

Downing said her son was “intense” and “incredibly determined” and that he “lived large and people loved doing things with him.”

“He lived a short life, but a very full life,” said his dad.

Liam was committed to becoming a doctor, saying in a social media post from St. George’s University, “To me, putting on that white coat means a commitment to helping others.”

It was a commitment, and a dream, he would not get the chance to fulfill.

But his parents hope that fundraising campaigns started in his memory will be directed to youth sport, cancer research and the Grenada orphanage where Liam volunteered. Top Stories

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