- Dave Crocos, 68, dies in Brisbane
- Contracted tropical virus on cruise
- READ MORE: Grandfather’s plight
A grandfather who was centre of a desperate medical evacuation after contracting a mystery virus on a once-in-a-lifetime cruise has died surrounded by loved ones.
Dave Crocos, 68, succumbed to critical organ failure in a Brisbane hospital after contracting the tropical illness while on a holiday cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney via Hawaii, French Polynesia, Tahiti and Auckland, with his wife Jo.
Son Mathew Bierberg said Mr Crocos, who had only just retired from being a land surveyor in Perth, was a loving and caring father.
Perth grandfather Dave Crocos, 68, (pictured right with wife Jo) has died surrounded by loved ones after being struck down by a mystery illness on a Pacific cruise
The stunned family said Mr Crocos appeared to be in good shape before the unexplained illness struck.
He had even passed a health check before the travelling out of Australia with no real concerns.
‘This is all a big shock as we expected him to have another good 20 years and were hopeful he could finally enjoy his retirement that he’s worked hard for all his life,’ Mr Bierberg told Seven News.
‘He had a heart of gold and was a very kind, generous man. He was very dedicated to his work and sports.
‘He always stepped up to help those in need. He taught me so much.’
Mr Bierberg said his daughter Zahara was devastated.
‘He used to spoil her rotten as she is the only grandchild. She’s really going to miss her Pa,’ Mr Bierberg said.
‘He will be truly missed and Christmas will not be the same this year.
‘He’ll be here in our hearts.’
Mr Crocos boarded the Majestic Princess cruise ship on October 8 but shortly departing Hawaii his health took a turn for the worse.
After the cruise ship made a rushed detour to American Samoa Mr Crocos was laid up in hospital with his family desperately trying to get him back to Australia
Mr Crocos (pictured middle left with wife Jo) had departed on the cruise while in seeming good health
He began suffering from fever and aches and spent a week bedridden in his cabin before cruise doctors decided he needed hospital treatment.
The cruise ship made a rushed detour to American Samoa where Mr Crocos was admitted to the LBJ Tropical Medicine Centre on the island of Pago Pago on October 25.
However, the centre was not equipped to deal with his condition and in a desperate race against time his family were able to get him flown back to Brisbane after a planned medevac flight to New Zealand had to be abandoned.
After a gruelling flight, Mr Crocos arrived in Brisbane on November 4.
The grieving family returned to Perth on Thursday and Mr Crocos’s body will be returned to the WA capital on Friday as funeral preparations are being made.