WORKPLACE TRAGEDY: Mark and Dawn Svoboda have been inseparable ever since they married 38 years ago.
WORKPLACE TRAGEDY: Mark and Dawn Svoboda have been inseparable ever since they married 38 years ago.

Dying dad’s final wish after horror workplace accident

IT WAS a February morning like any other.

Maryvale man Mark Svoboda kissed his wife Dawn goodbye, hopped into his truck and headed to work, completely unaware it was a day that would change his life forever.

According to son Michael, 64-year-old Mark was undoing the straps of his Brisbane timber delivery when a forklift driver swung round and hit the truck and one tonne of timber fell on him

About midday, days after he'd seen his dad and grandfather of 17 fit and healthy, Michael got the call that Mark was in Brisbane's Princess Alexandra hospital with more than 50 broken bones, a ruptured bowel and was on life support.

"When I first saw Dad, I honestly felt like I was in a movie, like I was walking into the Texas Chainsaw Massacre dungeon," he said.

"It was horrendous. I didn't think something like that would ever happen."

The news was devastating to Michael and his five siblings, and heartbreaking for Michael's mother, who had never spent a day away from her husband of 38 years.

"I don't know what she would have done if us boys weren't there," Michael said.

"All she's ever been about is Dad and us."

Together, the family battled through it as they always did in the tough times.

But on the day Mark was to come home from hospital, he complained of a stomach-ache and was rushed into surgery.

Doctors found an undiagnosed tumour in his intestine which had blocked his abdominal cavities.

Mark had inoperable stage four terminal bowel cancer. Oncologists estimated he had anywhere from two days to a few weeks to live.

 

Son Michael said dad Mark has always gone out of his way to help others and his family.
Son Michael said dad Mark has always gone out of his way to help others and his family.

 

Mark's family believes the accident which ruptured his bowel spread the cancer through his bloodstream.

"It was just heartbreaking watch him fight for so long and watch him work his way down the hospital," Michael said.

"He used to say, 'I don't want to die, Michael, I'm not ready, mate'.

"We will never be the same."

Now three weeks later, barely able to speak, Mark is with his family in his home, as they treasure their final moments with the "man's man" of a Dad.

"Dad is one of those dads that always wants to give," Michael said.

"Even if he'd worked a 15-hour day, he'd still bring home a box of ice-creams for the girls."

It is that same home Mark wants to be his final parting gift for his family.

After rebuilding over a decade ago, Mark wants to pay off his mortgage before he goes, leaving one less worry for his 'lovey', as he calls wife Dawn.

To help make his father's final wish come true, Michael has set up a GoFundMe.

"His ultimate dream is for mum to be looked after," he said.

To donate, head to https://gf.me/u/x4i39t