- Dave Crocos, 68, died in Brisbane
- Tropical virus contracted on a cruise
- READ MORE: Grandfather’s fate
A grandfather who was at the center of a desperate medical evacuation after contracting a mystery virus on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise has died surrounded by his loved ones.
Dave Crocos, 68, succumbed to critical organ failure in a Brisbane hospital after contracting the tropical disease on a holiday cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney via Hawaii, French Polynesia, Tahiti and Auckland, with his wife Jo.
His son Mathew Bierberg said Mr Crocos, who had just retired as a land surveyor in Perth, was a loving and caring father.
Perth grandfather Dave Crocos, 68 (pictured right with wife Jo) died surrounded by his loved ones after being struck down by a mystery illness while on a Pacific cruise.
The stunned family said Mr Crocos appeared to be in good shape before the unexplained illness struck.
He even had a health check before leaving Australia without any real concerns.
“It’s a big shock because we expected him to have another 20 good years and we hoped he would finally be able to enjoy his retirement that he worked hard for all his life,” Mr Bierberg told Seven News.
“He had a heart of gold and was a very kind and generous man. He was very dedicated to his work and his sports.
“He always stepped up to help those in need. He taught me so much.
Mr Bierberg said his daughter Zahara was devastated.
“He spoiled her rotten because she is the only granddaughter. He will really miss his father,” Mr. Bierberg said.
“We will really miss him and Christmas will not be the same this year.
“He will be here in our hearts.”
Mr. Crocos boarded the Majestic Princess cruise ship on O’DayOn October 8, but shortly after leaving Hawaii, his health deteriorated.
After the cruise ship made a hasty detour to American Samoa, Mr Crocos was hospitalized with his family desperately trying to get him back to Australia.
Mr Crocos (pictured middle left with his wife Jo) had gone on a cruise although he appeared to be in good health
He began suffering from fever and body aches and spent a week bedridden in his cabin before cruise doctors decided he needed hospital treatment.
The cruise ship made a hasty detour to American Samoa where Mr Crocos was admitted to the LBJ Tropical Medicine Center on Pago Pago Island on October 25.
However, the center was not equipped to deal with his condition and, in a desperate race against time, his family managed to fly him back to Brisbane after a planned medevac flight to New York. Zeeland had to be abandoned.
After a grueling flight, Mr Crocos arrived in Brisbane on November 4.
The grieving family returned to Perth on Thursday and Mr Crocos’ body will be returned to the WA capital on Friday as funeral preparations are underway.