Jackie Monk has paid tribute to her husband David Kiefel who died on Friday evening at Albury hospital, in the NSW-Victoria border region, after a three-month battle with Japanese encephalitis.
The virus resulted in permanent quadriplegia for Mr Kiefel, 61, who had been in intensive care and remained conscious throughout his entire treatment.
Ms Monk spent almost every day of the last two months of his life at her husband's bedside.
"Without possibility of life quality, David chose palliation to journey to heaven on his own terms," Ms Monk said. "Such courage and dignity; a mark of the much-loved man in our Corowa community."
Mr Kiefel became ill following a mosquito bite in mid-February. The couple returned to the Border region so he could receive ongoing care closer to home.
Prior to that, Mr Kiefel was being treated at Melbourne's Alfred hospital as authorities continued to closely monitor his recovery.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Federation Council mayor Pat Bourke said he was saddened to hear of Mr Kiefel's death. "This is just devastating news, especially for David's wife Jackie and their family and friends," he said.
"I would like to take this opportunity to extend my deepest sympathies to Jackie and David's extended family and friends during this difficult time."
In a statement, the NSW health department said: "While evidence shows mosquito numbers have declined, it remains important that people ... continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
"NSW Health has been working closely with local health districts and primary health networks in affected areas to coordinate vaccination efforts."
To date, a total of 13 NSW residents have been infected with Japanese encephalitis, and two have died.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.