Rayleigh Weir Fire Station Open Day

On the 16th of June Bouncy Beans Castles raised £705 for Mark Dos Santos and his family at Rayleigh Weir Fire Station. The story of what happened to Mark is taken from the Brentwood Gazette.
A LONG-SERVING Brentwood fireman is fighting for his life in hospital after a martial arts class went badly wrong.
Mark Rodrigues Dos Santos, a dad-to three-year-old Mason, is in intensive care with his wife at his bedside after collapsing during a training session.
Described by his colleagues as “super fit,” the 37-year-old is Blue Watch’s physical training instructor.
Mr Rodrigues Dos Santos has himself helped save hundreds of people over the past decade, but yesterday was battling to stay alive after contracting pneumonia.
Since collapsing and passing out after a neck hold during a regular mixed-martial arts training session, he has undergone two bouts of brain surgery, survived cardiac arrest and been in and out of intensive care.
It is thought he will need to learn to walk and talk again and, at present, he can only communicate through mouthing words and moving his arms.
His heavily-pregnant wife Angela has remained at his bedside since his collapse at the self-defence session on April 24.
Leading Firefighter at Brentwood Fire Station, Paul Mayes, who has set-up a fundraising campaign to support Mr Rodrigues Dos Santos, had dropped him home just hours before.
He described the decline in his colleague’s health as “unbelievable” and “surreal”.
“One minute he’s there and one of the boys and then we start hearing the news that he’s had an operation and talking about brain surgery,” he said.
“You suddenly think ‘well, maybe we won’t see him back at work’ and that’s quite shocking. He’s one of our guys, he’s been on this watch ten years and we really want him back.”
Mr Mayes described how animal-loving Mr Rodrigues Dos Santos once went the extra mile to try to save a dog during a house fire and said the pet was covered and shown compassion when he died.
Fellow firefighter Tommy Bunting is concerned for the family.
He said: “It’s getting worse and worse and worse and you start asking yourself what’s happening, what’s going on.
“You’re not only worried for him but you’re worried for his wife, her being pregnant and dealing with Mason as well.
“It’s like it wasn’t real, it was like an episode from a soap or something just how severe it went and how quickly it went bad, it’s quite hard to take in.”
The fire crew has started fundraising for Mr Rodrigues Dos Santos, from Rivenhall, who could face lengthy rehabilitation, and all funds raised from the Fire Station Open Day on June 9 will be used to help his recovery.
“There are unknowns after he gets through this really crucial period of fighting infection,” Mr Mayes said.
“And then he’s going to be almost learning to walk, move his limbs and maybe even talk and we want to make sure we can put him where he needs to be to get the best help to give him the best chance of recovery.
“We want to see him back on the watch.”