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Tragic claim after Aussie falls overboard on cruise ship: 'Repeatedly turned away'

The 'lack of care' the Australian man allegedly received prior to his death have the family 'seeking answers'.

The family of the Australian man who fell overboard from a cruise ship to his death have come forward with shocking claims of how he was treated with "a complete lack of humanity" by the Queensland health system.

The 35-year-old Brisbane man, Warwick Tollemache, was holidaying on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Quantum of the Seas last month when he went over the railings, some 1,400km south of Hawaii during the night.

Now his heartbroken family have revealed he struggled with his mental health "when his life took a devastating turn", having developed "severe, chronic, and debilitating migraines that affected him daily". The migraines tragically halted his ambitions to become either a doctor or physiotherapist, the family said in a statement.

Two photos of the Brisbane man, Warwick Tollemache, 35, who was lost overboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Quantum of the Seas in April. His body was never found.
Warwick Tollemache, 35, was lost overboard from the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Quantum of the Seas in April. His body was never found. Source: Facebook/9 News

Following his death, his family are now "seeking answers" after claiming Mr Tollemache's pleas for help were ignored by Metro South Health.

"Warwick, who found joy and purpose in helping others, was treated with a complete lack of humanity, respect, care, and compassion," they said in a statement published by Daily Mail Australia.

"Warwick sought help from both public and private healthcare systems but was repeatedly turned away and refused treatment or dignity." The pain from the migraines sadly led him to self-medicate with alcohol "at times".

Two photos of the ship at night after the man went overboard, while an immediate rescue mission is being exercised.
The ship turned around at 11pm the night Mr Tollemache went missing to conduct an immediate rescue mission. Source: 7 News/9 News

The family say they tried their best to provide "inpatient" care at home for Mr Tollemache for "countless days and months," but there was only so much they could do.

"This culture of neglect and disregard for patients' dignity within Metro South Health is dehumanising, and it is shameful that Warwick was a victim of such systemic failure," their statement continued to claim.

The circumstances which led Mr Tollemache to fall overboard remain unclear.

Metro South Health offer 'condolences' to family

A spokeswoman for Metro South Health stated "mental health conditions are complex and crises can stem from a number of triggers".

"Our health service offers condolences to the family for the loss of their loved one," she told Yahoo News.

"Help is available for anyone having suicidal thoughts by calling Lifeline on 13 11 14 or patients of our service within the Metro South Health catchment have access to 1300 MH CALL."

Yahoo understands hospital records don't show a presentation for migraines.

Readers seeking mental health support can contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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