THE woman who has been a source of inspiration to one of the country's most prolific sevens players has succumbed to an illness that kept her bedridden for some time.
Irinieta, the wife of Fiji sevens star Pio Tuwai, passed away on Tuesday night leaving behind her husband and their two daughters, Makirina, 3, and four-month-old Joyce.
News of the late nurse's death spread quickly and family have started gathering at their Waiyavi home.
The Fiji Times had been following the heartbreaking journey the Tuwai family endured, particularly her insistence that he heed the "national call of duty" and participate in the IRB 2013/2014 Sevens World Series. She cheered on her husband from her bed and he responded to her public support and show of affection by calling her the love of his life. The mother of two was always vocal and urged him to join the national team when he earned himself a spot after injury marred his playing career.
In an earlier interview with The Fiji Times, she said Tuwai's sacrifices and commitment had been a source of strength for her family and her own daily battles.
She also said her husband and their two children were always a beacon of hope for her recovery.
During his stint in the 2013/2014 IRB series, Tuwai also told his dilemma of wanting to represent his country and being by his wife's side.
He said his marriage vows to be with her in times of "good health or in sickness" were always on his mind.
The pair married in December, 2010.