Peebo ‘didn’t waste a second of his life’
TRIBUTES are flooding in for Queensland's favourite clowns Peebo & Dagwood after Peter Bissell lost his brave fight against cystic fibrosis on Wednesday.
Peter (Peebo) was 46. His adoring twin David (Dagwood), who also has the debilitating condition, was by his side when he passed.
The unprecedented outpouring of grief, particularly on the duo's professional Facebook site where they have openly shared their health struggles, shows just how loved and admired they were, not only as a clowning team but also as fearless men whose motto was "suck the guts out of life".
In addition to visiting sick children in hospital for more than 20 years, they performed at birthday parties, were motivational speakers, and appeared on TV shows including Backyard Blitz, touching hundreds of thousands of lives.
Dr Kiran Shekar, an intensive care specialist at Prince Charles Hospital, said he would never forget Peter's remarkable spirit.
"It's heartbreaking … a couple of weeks ago when I saw him, he still positively looked forward to life despite what he was going through," Dr Shekar said.
"You will be missed, Peebo, and your happy picture will always hang on the wall in our ICU."
Nurse Natalie Ann Cronan said: "You two are up there as the most enjoyable, memorable patients I have ever cared for."
Jo Schilling, whose son has cystic fibrosis, said: "Another light went out today and the world really does seem a little less bright. When you live with cystic fibrosis you live on borrowed time. Peter 'Peebo' Bissell didn't waste a second of it."
Parent Christine Calvert said she had great memories of her 21 year old's first and third birthday parties "where you both were the stars and we all laughed so much, adults included; be free of pain and fly high".
Paul Henderson said he was "just devastated'. "You guys have brought so much joy and laughter in (sic) the lives of young and old alike. Our two younger boys - now 18 and 16 - still have your pictures up on their walls after you did shows at their respective 6th birthday parties."
Nerine Hooper was among many who referenced Peter and David's older sister Tonya, who died from cystic fibrosis, in 1998 at age 27.
"There is always room for a beautiful clown in heaven to bring happiness. Peebo won't be alone. He will be spending time with his sister, always smiling and laughing. Just heartbreaking for us here."
Others spoke of how their interactions with Peter and his brother had personally helped them.
Steven Brazil said: "My entire world changed thanks to meeting you both, I'll never forget that. You've changed so many lives."
Linda Graham said: "Your values. Your humour. Your love of life. Your love to cheer up those facing grief or personal challenges. Thank you for simply being you and how you touched my life with a chat many years ago."
Messages of support have been pouring in for weeks since David was rushed to ICU on February 3 and Peter was hospitalised shortly afterwards.
Peter revealed that the tumours on his liver were inoperable because of his failing kidneys and an earlier double lung transplant, and that David shared the same prognosis, describing it as "a twin thing".
Over time, cystic fibrosis, a build-up of mucus in the lungs, destroys the body's organs. The average life expectancy is 38.
Peter is also survived by his parents Bob and Narelle, and his 11-year-old daughter Amelia Bissell.