Carnlough fire fighters have raised an impressive £8400 for three charities after a colleague was rushed to hospital for open heart surgery.
The local crew embarked on a charity fundraising drive after Watch Commander Martin Campbell was struck down by endocarditis caused by bacterial septicaemia.
Now back at work, Martin is full of praise for his colleagues, who fundraised for The Royal Victoria Hospital Cardiac Unit, Antrim Area Hospital Cardiac Unit and The Fire Fighters Charity.
“It means a lot that they have gone to such efforts to raise this money,” said Martin.
“I was treated in Antrim Area Hospital and the Royal as well as at the Fire Fighters’ Charity centre in England.
“I had flu-like symptoms such as a sore head and aching limbs but blood tests showed it was septicaemia and it was a close call.
“I had surgery at the Royal and cardiac rehab at Antrim, then a residential stay with the Fire Fighters’ charity for more rehab including intensive gym work.
“I was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to what happened and now I would like to raise awareness of the danger of septicaemia.”
The Carnlough crew undertook a variety of fundraising activities.
Crew Commander at Carnlough Fire Station Manus Jamison revealed: “Martin’s brother-in-law Richard ran the New York Marathon and there was a Santa’s Grotto at the fire station, table quiz and cake sale.
“The crew even auctioned themselves out to do odd jobs for the day as well as entering the Belfast marathon!
“When Martin went off it was a big loss, and the Fire Fighters charity do so much to support firefighters and their families, it’s an invaluable service. We would like to thank everyone who helped us with our fundraising along the way and we are glad to have Martin back.”