Courageous tradie loses battle with crippling illnesses
COURAGEOUS Gold Coast tradie Casey Townsend, who battled an incredible series of health disasters and wanted more than anything to be around for his young family, has died, aged 32.
His shattered wife, Sharna, who was by his side every day for the past nine months since he became sick, said her husband was a giant of a man.
"He was so amazing, a real fighter, and the most genuine and beautiful man I've ever known," said Mrs Townsend, 30, of Burleigh Heads.
"It's so unfair, his heart just started to slow down and failed."
Mr Townsend passed on Sunday, at 4.25am, at Gold Coast University Hospital, with his family around him.
"I'm trying to stay strong for the kids but also nurture them because they know Daddy has gone to heaven," said Mrs Townsend, mother of Sienna, 7, Sonny, 3, and Ellie, 20 months.
It was last September when an otherwise fit Mr Townsend collapsed while on a concreting job in Brisbane.
He went on to suffer another stroke, two heart attacks (one rendering him clinically dead) and a brain tumour.
He was then diagnosed with congestive heart failure, where fluid builds up in the body's organs, and desperately needed a heart transplant.
However, this was not immediately possible because the immunosuppressant drugs required before a transplant would have exacerbated his tumour.
Mrs Townsend said they were in a holding pattern, trying to make her husband's heart strong enough to withstand an operation on his brain.
In the past two weeks, since The Courier-Mail published Mr Townsend's plight, she had contacted Australia's leading brain surgeon Charlie Teo, begging him to help.
"In the end, we ran out of time," she said.
Prior to becoming ill, Mr Townsend worked alongside his father Les in Townsend Concreting, Bonogin, in the Gold Coast hinterland.
"He was the kind of guy everyone wanted to be around," said Mrs Townsend, who met her husband in a nightclub in 2012.
"I felt like I could do anything with him by my side. We would have random people come up and say, 'Wow, I can just see how in love you are'."
The couple married last October, with Mr Townsend's father helping his ailing son stand for the vows.
"I knew I had to marry Casey because I love him to death, and you never know what could happen next," said Mrs Townsend.
"All he wanted to do was get out of hospital and take the kids fishing and camping. He was such a devoted father."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family here.