Dubai: Six months after the death of his wife, award winning natural history film maker and long-time Dubai resident Jonathan Ali Khan, 59, died due to pneumonia complications at a local hospital.
He was given a tearful farewell by family and friends who gathered for his cremation at the Jebel Ali crematorium on Monday.
Khan’s wife, Jody Ann Rodriguez, died on July 14 last year when her brain was deprived of oxygen following an asthma attack. By the time she reached hospital, she had lapsed into a coma from which she never woke up.
Khan fell ill with a lung infection on December 27 and was admitted to a city hospital for routine investigations. However, within two days, his condition took a turn for worse and he was rushed to the ICU and put on ventilator.
Khan’s step son Lucas who was visiting from Canada alerted his grandmother and aunt. Jan, Khan’s mother, who arrived in Dubai from London told Gulf News: “My son was still grieving. He neglected his health. He was such an amazing person and so talented, had won awards for his natural history documentaries and was working on a new project. We all will miss him dearly.”
His works include a recent documentary on Arabian sharks that was screened on the Discovery channel.
“We never expected something as unfortunate as this,” said Jan who is planning to take back Khan’s ashes to the UK and organise a memorial in his honour.
Only after his death did the family realise he had died without a health insurace cover. According to his sister Kim, “He was moving to a new project and because he was unwell, had been unable to get his health insurance.”
In a moving write up, she wrote: “The world has lost a beautiful person. My friends, I know how much some of you loved Jonathan, he was so special….His tremendous artistic talent has been much admired and for which he won so many awards, something he always kept quiet about…”