Dad, 68, dies after contracting mysterious illness on luxury cruise ship holiday

A 68-year-old grandfather who fell seriously ill with a mysterious virus during a special cruise has passed away in a Brisbane hospital.

The tropical illness struck while Dave Crocos and his wife Jo were on a cruise from Los Angeles to Sydney, visiting Hawaii, French Polynesia, Tahiti, and Auckland.

Dave, a recently retired land surveyor from Perth, had seemed healthy before the unexpected illness.

Despite passing a health check before leaving Australia, he experienced critical organ failure, leading to his untimely death.

His son, Mathew Bierberg, expressed shock and sorrow, noting that the family had expected him to enjoy a long retirement after a lifetime of hard work.

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Describing Dave as a loving and caring father with a heart of gold, Mathew said he was dedicated to his work and sports, always willing to help others.

The family had hoped for many more good years with him.

Dave’s health deteriorated shortly after departing from Hawaii on the Majestic Princess cruise ship on October 8. He spent a week bedridden in his cabin, and cruise doctors, recognising the severity of his condition, decided he needed hospital treatment.

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The ship made an emergency detour to American Samoa, where Dave was admitted to the LBJ Tropical Medicine Centre on October 25.

Unfortunately, the centre lacked the resources to address his condition, prompting a frantic effort by the family to get him back to Brisbane. A planned flight to New Zealand had to be abandoned, but Dave eventually arrived in Brisbane on November 4 after a challenging journey.

The grieving family has returned to Perth, and Dave’s body will be brought back to the Western Australian capital for funeral preparations. The unexpected loss has left his loved ones devastated, with fond memories of a man who meant so much to them.

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