A young Australian living her dream abroad died in Japan after a doctor misdiagnosed a blood clot that had developed in her leg, her family says.

Tynnile Long, 22, from the Victorian bayside suburb of Frankston, had been in Japan for almost two years when, out of the blue, she collapsed on a street in bustling Tokyo on January 25 and never recovered.

Doctors determined that a blood clot, previously diagnosed as a hip issue despite Tynnile presenting with a badly bruised thigh, caused a blockage of her artery.

Her family told news.com.au the "bubbly" language student, who was due home in February to celebrate her 23rd birthday, had complained in the days leading up to her collapse of soreness in her leg.


"My mum couldn't get hold of her for a couple of days and, as they spoke every day, she was contacting all her friends trying to get someone to check on her," Tynnile's sister Elizabeth said.

"Tynnile was complaining of a sore leg days prior [and] we got a call on a Wednesday night that she had passed away."

What Elizabeth described as "the worst day of our lives" would get worse. The family booked the earliest flight on the Thursday morning and soon came face-to-face with the practical realities of retrieving their loved one's body.

The costs were astronomical - at least AU$17,000 ($17,500).

A close friend and a collection of anonymous donors stood up to help.

Together they raised more than $33,000 to pay for the costs and to remove the financial burden.

Tynnile Long was due to return to Australia on February 26. Photo / Facebook
Tynnile Long was due to return to Australia on February 26. Photo / Facebook

"It has left us speechless the amount of support everyone, including complete strangers, has given us," Elizabeth said.

"With not only donating but helping with my kids, helping at home while we're [in Japan] and even just offering to talk. It is a big relief to get everything sorted and we are so grateful."

The family will fly home from Tokyo on Thursday this week. Tynnile will be on the same flight.

The family has been in Tokyo since January 26, carefully wading through Tynnile's belongings. There they found gifts she had bought for them in readiness for her return to Australia.

The generosity of friends and family and of people they've never met has helped get them through the hardest days, Wendy says. Knowing that her daughter was doing what she loved comforts her, too.

"She lived her life to the fullest in Japan. After years of hospital visits at the Royal Children's Hospital - Tynnile was born with a cleft palate - it was like she was free to live her life finally.

"She was so, so excited to see the world and had so many plans. She had just started to live when she passed."

Wendy also shared her pain and celebrated her daughter's short life with friends online.
"We are trying to make sense of this massive heartache," Wendy wrote. "This amazing young lady's life has been cut way too short. Our love forever my young princess. Sleep well my beautiful girl."

Tynnile leaves behind a loving family that includes her mother and father, sister Elizabeth and brother Baden. She was a loving aunt, her sister says. Videos from the family show her leaving for Japan. Her niece runs into her arms for one final cuddle.

Online, her friends are leaving loving tributes.

"I'm still lost for words," a friend wrote on Facebook. "How life can be so cruel to suddenly take a beautiful 22-year-old girl leaving so many aching souls and broken hearts behind."

Her brother-in-law wrote that Tynnile's passing will "leave a massive void in all of our lives forever but the memories you have left with us will always make us smile".