Yeah, while there is some suss-ness about his lies about having met "her" IRL etc, I do believe it's highly plausible that he was sucked in, because lots of people do not know about sockpuppetry.

And when this story came to light and I read "near-fatal crash followed by leukaemia followed by coma relayed by family you don't know (presumably from the bedside) followed by meaningful statement followed by trag death" I thought "yup, it's textbook."

"Cough... dying... send lipgloss...."