Surf icon’s sad demise after freak infection
A prominent Aussie surf photographer, who was super fit until the end of last year, has tragically died in Bali after losing 32 kgs in six weeks due to a freak infection in his neck.
Brad Masters - who many in the surfing world know through his striking photos - went to Siloam Hospital, near Canggu in the south of the Indonesian island, on Christmas Day after noticing a swollen gland in his jaw.
The father-of-one from Fremantle, WA, was using antibiotics to treat pneumonia just weeks earlier, but his partner Trish Kincaid said his neck was "scarlet and bigger than his head" by the time he went to hospital.
His family said the 41-year-old underwent two major surgeries to clear the infection, but they were not a success.
The situation turned from bad to worse when Mr Masters contracted a superbug and was placed in an induced coma on life support. The infection then spread to his lungs and gave him pneumonia.
His family said he was in the "greatest fight of his life" and, tragically, he succumbed to the infection this weekend.
"It is with great sadness that we share the news of Brad's passing in the early hours of this morning," his family wrote on social media today.
"Brad tried really hard to stay with us but unfortunately his body was extremely weak to keep fighting. We will take comfort in the beautiful images he created through his photos and his quirky ways. We will miss you every second of every day."
He had lived in Bali for years along with his partner and son, and worked as a surf photographer and personal trainer.
His family had been trying to raise an eye-watering sum of money to cover his medical costs from the ordeal - saying Mr Masters' insurance company rejected his claim.
"As you could imagine, the financial stress on Brad's family is enormous due to the insurance company rejecting the claim," the family said.
"The medical cost for his treatment is in excess of $75,000 and increasing daily by $3,500 as Brad needs to be in ICU possibly for a further month on a mechanical ventilator."
One suggestion was that they medevac Brad back home to Australia but it was far beyond their financial capability.
Because of COVID restrictions they were unable to be by his side throughout the ordeal - he was said to have been in "permanent isolation".
However, Mr Masters had spent the last few days surrounded by the love of his parents in hospital.
"He put up a hell of a fight but sadly he was so weakened that he could not fight anymore," a spokeswoman for his fundraising campaign said.
"We will take comfort in the beautiful and funny memories that will ease the pain over time. It is so hard to imagine a world without you and your quirky ways.
"Your beautiful son Kai, Dad, Justin, myself, Morgan, Trish, family and friends will miss you every minute of everyday.
"The love and support that has been shown towards Brads family over the last 6 weeks will never, ever be forgotten. We cannot thank you enough and we will all be eternally grateful."
Originally published as Surf icon's sad demise after freak infection