FOREVER REMEMBERED: Alex Zaccardi, pictured with his wife Jackie, is being remembered as a father who was loved dearly.
FOREVER REMEMBERED: Alex Zaccardi, pictured with his wife Jackie, is being remembered as a father who was loved dearly. Jeremy Zaccardi

Loved Widgee Dad dies after cancer battle

TRIBUTES have flowed for Widgee man Alex Zaccardi, who died early this month after years of pain and a short battle with cancer.

The much loved husband, father, uncle and brother became a grandfather 10 days before he died. For 27 years, he lived with a chronic back condition after spinal fusion surgery on his spine as a 25-year-old made his back pain unbearable.

In March, 2017 Alex's back pain was excruciating and he had spinal surgery to implant a spinal nerve device. The surgery failed, and a few days later, Alex became paralysed, changing his life and those of his loved ones forever.

Alex and his wife Jackie had to live in their farm shed with no running water or bathroom because it was the only viable option for Alex to be home with his family rather than being in hospital and away from his farm.

Eight months later, he and his family received the crushing news that he had late stage terminal cancer and at best, only had six months to live.

Last month, Alex was able to hold his grand-daughter Eliana for the first time, before succumbing to the cancer on March 1 surrounded by loved ones.

His daughter Arielle Stubbs said she was lost "beyond words” but took comfort in the fact her father fought the hard fight.

"Dad, as hard as it will be to let go of the fact that you aren't just in hospital and coming home soon is beyond words - but knowing you are completely pain free and walking again up in heaven gives us the little bit of joy to keep going,” Mrs Stubbs said.

"Seeing you fight such an incredible battle for so long was hard, but knowing you got to see your very first grandchild enter this world.... hold, sing, comfort and show unconditional love towards her, makes it all worth it and something I will cherish forever.

"Eliana was so lucky to have a poppy like you and I promise to always keep reminding her that as she grows up not with you by her side, but from above looking over and protecting her through this crazy thing we call life.”

Alex's funeral was held on Tuesday at the Kandanga Cemetery.

Mrs Stubbs said her father was an extraordinary man.

"Thank you for being the best stay-at-home dad to us three kids that we could of imagined, you were always present in our lives and you gave us everything we ever wanted plus more,” she said.

A gofundme page has been organised to help the Zaccardi family. Please click here: https://bit.ly/2TyG7ET