Kelly Slater in mercy dash home to support 'dad'
KELLY Slater has made a mercy dash to Australia on the eve of his favourite event on the world surf tour to support his "second dad", former Currumbin Surf Club president John Munro, as he recovers from lifesaving brain surgery.
Mr Munro, father of Gold Coast former pro surfer turned Channel 7 surf reporter Luke Munro, is recovering in Sydney's Prince of Wales Private Hospital after undergoing surgery to remove a malignant brain tumour on Wednesday.
The surgery was performed by Australia's leading neurosurgeon, Dr Charlie Teo, the director of the Centre for Minimally Invasive Neurosurgery at Prince of Wales Hospital and founder of the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation (formerly Cure For Life Foundation), the Gold Coast Bulletin reports.
Slater uploaded a photo to Instagram yesterday showing a smiling 62-year-old Mr Munro recovering in hospital surrounded by family, including his wife Debbie, the couple's children Luke, Kurt, Adam and Samantha, Slater and Dr Teo.
"I'm not typically a hospital guy but when you need one, you do what you can to find the best man for the job," Slater wrote in the caption accompanying the photo.
"A giant #THANKYOU to #CharlieTeo and his amazing team for your efficient and dedicated work to keep one of my #SecondDad's in the picture so I can make him do some more #NudieRuns around the pool table in Currumbin!
"All jokes aside ... I can't thank you enough. We can't thank you enough!"
Luke Munro also thanked his great mate Slater and Dr Teo in a post on Instagram, uploading a photo of the Munro family sharing dinner in Bondi on the eve of John's surgery.
The image was captioned: "The Munro's all together for a very special day tmr. Dad's brain cancer has grown back faster than expected, so with some help from some friends @kellyslater in particular, dad and Dr Charlie Teo will get to know each other a lot better tmr.
"Fingers crossed the operation is a success and we get the old 'Johhny boy' back for a while. Thanks so much for all the msgs of support it has really lifted dad as we read them out loud."
Luke, who has worked as a bookmaker and as a surf and beach reporter since he retired from the tour in 2010, and 11-time world champion Slater, 45, have been mates since they met on the professional tour in the 1990s, around the same time Slater lost his father, Stepehen Slater, to illness.
Slater has considered John Munro a second father ever since, often staying at the family's Currumbin home when he visits the Coast.
Mr Munro underwent surgery to remove a brain tumour in January but recently learned the cancer had returned.
Slater is due in Tavarua for his favourite event of the tour - the Fiji Pro - from June 4 to June 16.