Michael Maladay
Michael Maladay

Final break for surfer who was an inspiration

FAMILY and friends of Michael Maladay are taking some comfort in the knowledge the keen surfer died doing what he loved best.

Mr Maladay, 48, of Bangalow, died on Tuesday evening while surfing at The Pass in Byron Bay.

It was understood Mr Maladay collapsed moments after he had taken off on a wave. Another surfer helped Mr Maladay to shore and started CPR but Mr Maladay never regained consciousness.

Peter Abbott, who grew up with Mr Maladay in Collaroy, Sydney, said his friend was an inspirational person who was always going out of his way to help others.

As a young man he took care of his sister-in-law and her children after his brother was involved in a serious car accident.

At 18 he underwent a kidney transplant but went on to win silver and gold medals in the 1982 and 1984 Transplant Olympics held in Athens and Copenhagen.

The kids who play in the under 10 and under 12 Bangalow cricket teams knew him as their coach.

He was a devoted husband to Dominique and father to Genevieve, 13, Finn, 9, Caelan, 6, and Lewin, who turns 11 today.  “Surfing was his great love, so it is nice if he had to die he died in the water,” Mrs Maladay said yesterday.

Mr Abbott said despite Mr Maladay’s health setbacks, he always ‘bounced back’ and changed careers from air steward to chef to carpenter to support his family.

However, as a transplant patient, he was never able to take out life insurance, a fact which had now left his family in a financially vulnerable position.

People able to help the Maladay family can donate money to Summerland Credit Union BSB 802222, account 222 715 570.

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