Nev Cutting, 50, drowned near the Burnett Traffic Bridge last Wednesday
Nev Cutting, 50, drowned near the Burnett Traffic Bridge last Wednesday Supplied.

Dying dad drowned learning to swim

A HEARTBROKEN family has told how their dad died swimming in the Burnett River, just hours after deciding he should learn to swim.

Nev Cutting, 50, drowned near the Burnett Traffic Bridge last Wednesday afternoon after efforts to resuscitate him failed.

His daughters, Rebecca and Jenny-Maree, said Nev, who was in the early stages of Huntington's Disease, had written a “to-do” list of the things he wanted to achieve before the disease hit him hard - and at the top of it was learning to swim.

“It also included silly things like fix the mower,” Rebecca said.

“HE'S the type of bloke who would have thought, 'I'm not going to ask anyone to help me. I'm a strong bloke and I'm not going to ask anyone for help to learn to swim',” Jenny-Maree added.

Mr Cutting's wife, Colleen, said the disease impaired the ex-truck driver's ability to recognise danger and he would not have thought going for a swim in the fast running river would been “a big drama”.

Mr Cutting was diagnosed with Huntington's, an inherited neurological condition, in June.

The disease affects thinking, planning, judgement and memory, and can cause twitching in the arms, legs and face.

Mrs Cutting said doctors had advised Mr Cutting to walk as much as possible, and he had quickly developed a love for it.

“Even in the past six months, when he was sick and he had to give up his licence, he would walk and he would walk for miles. That was why we didn't first miss him when he was gone,” Mrs Cutting said.

Jenny-Maree said her father was always a happy, independent man who hated to be a burden on his family.

“He never wanted any of his family watching him deteriorate like that,” she said.

“He would be happy knowing that he went in an accident rather than the disease.”

The family said they were thankful to the people who tried to help.

Mr Cutting's family said they would remember his sense of humour and his “knack of getting into trouble”.

“He wanted everybody to be laughing and happy,” Mrs Cutting said.

“He has a quirky sense of humour and he has asked to go out, loud and proud, with Highway to Hell at his funeral.”

The funeral will be held tomorrow.



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