SUPPORT from the Mid North Coast community for fallen “brother” John Tavaga has been overwhelming.
The former Herons Creek and Port Macquarie man was involved in a motorbike crash in Rarotonga, Cook Islands recently.
The incident has left him in a critical condition, clinging to life in hospital.
With limited medical support and resources in Rarotonga, his family and friends are desperate to raise $100,000 to fly him to New Zealand.
That is roughly how much it will cost to transport John in his current condition, along with on-going medical expenses.
A Go Fund Me account was started on Saturday evening (July 30) to raise the money. At the time of print, the money raised was already at a staggering $39,000.
I was lucky enough to play rugby with John at the Wauchope Thunder last year, and again this year when he made a one-off appearance in memory of his late wife.
With one shake of his hand, those who meet John for the first time will be quick to see why all of his friends label him as “the nicest guy you will meet.”
His infectious smile and positive attitude has lasted through even the darkest days.
Last year he lost the love of his life, Taegan Grace McNamara, to cervical cancer.
She was just 29 years old.
The pair married shortly before her death.
Even through the turmoil, John remained the positive and happy-go-lucky man that he has always been.
John’s accident is another hit to a family that has endured so much in such a short period of time.
His coach at the Thunder, Marc Minor, described the news as “unbelievable”.
“At the moment the Thunder are going to stand behind the family and assist in anyway we can. John is truly the nicest guy,” he said.
John moved to Rarotonga after Taegan’s passing. It was her favourite destination, which is why he relocated there after her death to feel closer to her.
John’s brothers and Taegan’s family are by his side. Some of his closest friends from Port Macquarie and surrounds are expected to go to his bedside once he arrives in New Zealand.
To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/john-tavaga