UPBEAT, full of life and a people’s person who had a special love for cars were some of the words used to describe news photographer Carlie Norval, who died at the weekend after suffering a stroke.
Norval, 41, who spent years working at Die Burger, suffered a stroke on Friday morning as he was about to take his wife, Nadia, to work.
Close friend Alid van Niekerk said he could not believe it when he got a call at 10am on Friday informing him that his friend – who was not known to suffer any illness – had suffered a stroke and was in hospital in intensive care.
He said Norval had complained of a pain in his head while still in the basement parking garage of his flat at The Beaches.
"A few seconds later he passed out and Nadia called the ambulance and her mother,” he recalled.
Nadia’s mom arrived at the scene with two men from her Despatch lift club, including Nadia’s brother, who tried to resuscitate him while ambulance staff were getting to Norval.
"[An ambulanceman] tried CPR before he was rushed to hospital,” Van Niekerk said.
At St George’s Hospital, Norval was declared brain dead at about 5pm and it was left to the family to decide whether to keep him on life support or switch the machine off.
"The hospital asked if they could donate his organs and Nadia agreed, but his dad and brother, both named Piet, asked if they could wait until they arrived from Bloemfontein and Johannesburg,” Van Niekerk said.
"They drove through the night and arrived early on Saturday morning, said their goodbyes and Carlie was prepared for surgery to remove his organs.”
He described Norval as a people’s person who could fit into any social environment.
Several tributes to Norval were made on social networking sites Twitter and Facebook, including one from former colleague Roslyn Baatjies.