Moments after twirling his newly-wed daughter on the dance floor at her Costa Rica wedding, Tim Buchanan suffered a heart attack and died.

His devastated wife, Jeni, broke the news to friends via Facebook, writing: "You never know when the last time will be the last time! He was the most beautiful soul I have ever known and I will never be the same without him.

"I know he loved me and our family. Over the years we raised four amazing children, cared for my little brothers when they needed us the most and had even had the honour of a beautiful grandchild."

She also shared an image of the South Carolina-based couple, which turned out to be their last together, taken by friends at the wedding.

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You never know when the last time will be the last time!
Tim came into my life at a time when I was broken to the core and held me up and built me into a strong person. Over the years we raised four amazing children, cared for my little brothers when they needed us the most and had even had the honor of a beautiful grandchild.
He was the most beautiful soul I have ever known and I will never be the same without him. I know he loved me and our family.
I am so very grateful ...for this image of us that our dear friends Kelly Rae Stewart and her husband snuck during our daughter's wedding yesterday. Little did I know just a few hours later we would lose him.
****Please no phone calls right now.****
I am still in Costa Rica and on top of that I just can't deal with much right now. Once we have plans settled, someone will update or announce them. For now, just pray. He was always the one to make us feel better when things went wrong and so we need all the prayers we can get.

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Tim was a veteran detective with the US Sheriff's department in South Carolina. He served for 19 years and was 54 when he died.

His wife's Facebook page suggests Tim knew he was unwell but didn't go to the doctor for fear of what may be revealed about the state of his health.

Jeni explained how family was "the most important thing to him", so much so that he ignored his own health.

"He should have gone to the doctor, but he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to attend our daughter's wedding."

The family are reportedly still in Costa Rica trying to make arrangements to bring Tim home to South Carolina. A GoFundMe page has been set up by friends of the family to help cover their unforeseen expenses.