Cyclist Jack Schiavone’s passing left Malta in mourning. And as tributes poured in, one doctor recounted a touching moment that captured Jack’s selflessness in its entirety.
Kirill Micallef Stafrace shared the moment on Facebook, describing it as the day the two switched roles as ‘doctor’ and ‘patient’ during the Mediterranean Games of Tunisia some years ago.
Micallef Stafrace was the sole medical doctor on the team at the Games. However, he suffered a severe bout of food poisoning that led to three whole days of high fevers, among other things. And with him being the only doctor, his backup was “a tad lacking.”
“For three days he constantly checked on me, helped me out in any way he could. I don’t think I ever thanked him enough but we always had a good laugh when we remembered our reversal of roles.”
“I didn’t need back up,” he said. “I had nurse Jack. Jack the man, no the gentleman, will be missed by all who had the honour of knowing him.”
He was a “unique human being,” Micallef Stafrace wrote.
Malta was shocked at the news of the sudden death of Schiavone, who was only 52 years old.
He was a prominent figure in the sporting community, forever remembered for his huge contribution as an athlete and promoter of the sport.
He was a two-time national road champion and even won the national time trial championship in 2003 and 2004, representing Pamsons Club.
Jack also represented Malta in several internationals, which included the Commonwealth Games (Melbourne), the Games of the Small States of Europe (San Marino and Andorra), the World B Championships (South Africa), and of course, the Mediterranean Games in Tunisia.
After retiring as an athlete, Schiavone was later appointed as a national coach, where he garnered the love of many athletes who hailed him for his bubbly personality and great sense of humour.
Rest in peace