(WVUE) - A Picayune woman is working to bring home the body of her husband who died in Florida last week after riding out Irma in Marathon in the Keys.
The tragedy occurred just two weeks after 59-year-old Gary Troescher moved there in pursuit of his dream job
"He wasn't leaving. His mind was set," said Greta Savoie, Troescher's daughter.
She tried to get her father to leave Marathon, Florida, before Hurricane Irma, but he wouldn't budge.
"We all talked to him on the phone. 'Gary come on you don't have to stay.' He said, 'I just got this job, it will be alright,'" said Dara Troescher, his wife.
Troescher was just starting a job driving a tourist shuttle bus in Marathon, which took a direct hit. The Brother Martin grad clung to his religion as he rode out the intense winds with a lifelong friend.
"I basically saw 130 miles per hour winds going down the street. It was pretty scary," said the friend, Shane Brunner.
Troescher suffered from diabetes, and though he survived the storm itself, something happened in the immediate aftermath. Three days later, with food and water running short, his health took a bad turn.
"Gary had injured himself, one leg was swollen four times its size, the other three times the size and we don't know if he fell or had a heart attack or dehydrated," said Mrs. Troescher.
Troescher's friend managed to get him to a makeshift hospital on Marathon.
"The last time I saw him was Thursday morning. That's when he was laying on the ground and told me to call EMS. And he had a bad cramp, and his legs were two or three times the size," said Brunner.
Troescher was airlifted to a Miami hospital, where he arrived unconscious. The Navy veteran died shortly afterwards.
"It's surreal. We try and think of happy thoughts, and then the reality sets in," said Dara.
The family's funds are limited, so they've set up a gofundme account in Gary Troescher's name to help with transportation and burial.
"We just want him here," said Greta.
There's one consolation for the Troescher family, and that's that Gary died in a place that he loved.