Dave ‘Casper’ Neil

Just to advise that our fellow communicator, sparker, shipmate and friend David ‘Casper’ Neil is seriously unwell and has been diagnosed as having a very rare form of cancer which is well advanced.  He is currently in Dunedin Hospital awaiting surgery.


Dave retains his sense of humour but obviously has no  access to a computer.  He has asked that his mates be advised of his situation.   If you are in the Dunedin area, I am sure he would appreciate a short visit and if you would like to send a message then email him on casperneil1957@gmail.com or alternatively leave a comment to this post and I will ensure he gets your message.


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16 Responses to Dave ‘Casper’ Neil

  1. Mike Catlow says:

    Yes Dave has always had a wealth of humour as his posts attest.He will approach this surgical exercise in the same vein, even though its a serious occasion. I am sure he would appreciate a visit if anyone who knows him lives in Dunedin area, he will hate being bed ridden .I am assuming after surgery he will be transferred home to Invercargill. I have already emailed him with support for a successful operation early next week.

  2. Jim Dell says:

    Went to see Casper this morning. He is in good spirits and is allowed to go out of the hospital for an hour or two. I was expecting to see an emaciated, haggard figure lying in bed, but he was sitting up and looking fine. He was having an infusion whilst I was there and on completion, Dave and his wife were going out for lunch. He is having surgery on Wednesday and will probably be in the Intensive care unit after that for a day or two.

  3. Judy Collie says:

    Good morning, if any of you manage to get to see Dave in the Dunedin Hospital, Buck is still in there and will be for around 4-5 weeks, following the amputation of 3 toes due to complications with his diabetes. I am sure he would appreciate visitors also.

    Judy Collie-Buckingham

  4. Jim Dell says:

    Visited Dave in Ward 4A and Ian in Ward 4C this morning.
    Dave is going into his surgery tomorrow with a positive attitude. Will be in ICU for three days.
    Ian is feeling fine and currently having physio to try and help him get mobile.
    I can pass on any messages to both of these venerable gentlemen. dinger69@xtra.co.nz

  5. Jim Dell says:

    Sitrep – Sunday 31 July
    Dave – He underwent surgery last Wednesday but once they opened him up they decided against it. Ended up with a couple of dozen stitches (staples) right across his stomach. Radiotherapy for a week here in Dunedin followed by drug treatment in Invercargill is now Plan B. Dave hopes to have the staples removed and be back in Invercargill by the end of next week. Dave is feeling a bit down but still has his sense of humour.
    Ian – blood circulation appears to have improved in his right foot and he hopes to be undergoing rehab in Invercargill soon.

  6. Jim Dell says:

    Sitrep – Wednesday 3 August
    Dave – started radiation therapy yesterday and the final day will be Monday. May go home Tuesday.
    Ian – Waiting for news re-circulation in his right foot and hopes to head South this weekend.
    These two finally met this morning and had a quick chinwag. The subject of official numbers came up with Ian calling Casper a Sprog. When I gave them mine, I just got a funny look…

  7. Jim Dell says:

    Sitrep – Sunday 7 August
    Dave – absent without leave. His wife Mary had smuggled him ashore and supposedly back at 1700.
    Ian – Circulation has improved. He would have headed south yesterday but he needed his specialist’s decision to say whether or not he could be discharged. Specialist won’t be back until Tuesday.

  8. Jim Dell says:

    Sitrep – Thursday 11 August
    Dave – Didn’t head south as planned. He was supposed to have surgery yesterday but the surgeon is off sick. Dave and Mary are currently staying at the Cancer Society’s Daffodil House in Dunedin and Dave will have surgery on Monday.
    Ian – Also didn’t head south. Shortage of beds at the rehab centre in Invercargill so he is staying put for now.

  9. Jim D says:

    Sitrep Wednesday 17 August
    Dave ..couldn’t get to see him on Sunday as the Ward wouldn’t allow visitors in the morning. Will see if he is up to receiving today.
    Ian..transported to Invercargill rehab centre last night

  10. Jim Dell says:

    Update on Dave – Casper had a procedure to have a tube put in place to drain away fluids. He asked me if I had a bottle of rum in my bag as he is fed up of drinking water to get rid of his hiccups. He is not sure if he is going to go home this weekend or not.

  11. Jim Dell says:

    Sitrep – Dave has been transferred back to Invercargill. Presumably to start his drug treatment and I wish him well.

  12. Mike Catlow says:

    went down to Invercargill to see Dave We managed so spend some good talk time for a while but he is very weak and on pain relief. He tires easily and is now sleeping a lot but has been discharged to home care. He is also due to be seen by specialists again but further operations are unlikely.Will update further when more info comes to hand.

  13. Mike Catlow says:

    Casper has had pain relief organised through the local hospice but has opted to stay home for the duration of his final treatments. The prognosis was for a few days or a couple of short weeks & unfortunately there are no more medical procedures that can be done to help

  14. Jim D says:

    Regret to inform you that Casper passed away yesterday afternoon. RIP Dave.

  15. Mike Catlow says:

    If anybody would like to share any stories or dits about Casper while he was in the Navy his daughter Melanie is happy for anyone to email her with anything about his past
    you can email Melanie at

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