Brentwood firefighters start fundraising to support a colleague's fight for life (From Brentwood Weekly News)
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Brentwood firefighters start fundraising to support a colleague's fight for life
7:30am Wednesday 13th June 2012 in News
A SUPERFIT Brentwood-based firefighter is battling to stay alive after collapsing during a martial arts class.
Mark Rodrigues Dos Santos is in intensive care with his heavily pregnant wife, Angela, at his bedside after the accident at a jujitsu session at the Old Iron Works gym, in Maldon. He had gone there after finsihing a day shift in Brentwood.
The dad-of-one, who is expecting his second child with Angela in a matter of weeks, was injured after demonstrating a neck hold on April 24.
Since then, the 37-year-old member of Brentwood’s blue watch has undergone two lots of brain surgery, survived cardiac arrest and been in and out of intensive care at Chelmsford's Broomfield Hospital.
His colleagues decided to rally round and have set up a fundraising campaign to support Mark and Angela, from Rivenhall, near Witham, through his recovery.
For starters they organised an open day at the town’s fire station on Saturday which raised £2,280.
Paul Mayes, leading firefighter at Brentwood, said: “It is unbelievable that Mark is in such a bad way. He is incredibly fit and not the kind of person you’d imagine this would happen to.
“One evening I dropped him off at home after work and then later that night I got a text saying he was in intensive care. “We just want to see him back on the watch. There are so many unknowns as he works through recovery.
“At the moment he’s in a really crucial period of fighting infection. Then it will be almost learning to walk, move his limbs and maybe even talk again.
“We want to make sure we can put him where he needs to be to get the best help and give him the best possible chance.”
A number of families were at the fire station to support the event at the weekend.
To find out how you can donate, contact Brentwood fire station by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org