“WE can’t say thank you enough.”
That is the message from brave young dad Alex Lewis and his family, who have been overwhelmed by the public outpouring of support after the Daily Echo told the emotional story of how he lost three limbs and parts of his face when a common cold turned into a flesh-eating bug.
The 34-year-old and his partner Lucy Townsend have been inundated with emails, calls and messages from people touched by their story and desperate to help.
As reported exclusively in Saturday’s paper, Alex was left fighting for his life in a coma after a blood infection, Group A streptococcus, forced his organs to shut down.
But he beat the odds to survive and from his hospital bed bravely told how he was keeping positive after realising how precious life is and vowed to walk in the Hampshire countryside again for the sake of his three-year-old son Sam.
Lucy said: “All we can say is a massive thank you.
“We didn’t anticipate the reaction the article in the Daily Echo was going to get, it was purely to send a message to people that no matter what life throws at you, you have to make the most of it.
“The response has been phenomenal, just completely overwhelming and it’s hard to find words to say how much we appreciate all the messages and offers of donations.
“There hasn’t been one negative comment and it’s really lifting Alex in hospital to know that so many people care.”
Alex is fighting to recover in Salisbury District Hospital after surgeons had to amputate both legs above his knees, his left arm above his elbow and reconstruct his remaining arm to save his life.
He will go to a specialist unit in Roehampton where he will be fitted with prosthetic limbs and undergo rehabilitation once his wounds have healed. Today the Echo is backing a fundraising campaign launched by the family to urge people across Hampshire to ‘Do It For Alex’.
Already the response has been incredible.
The first event this Saturday will be a blow-dry bootcamp featuring an auction, non-alcoholic cocktails and pop-up florist, which will take place at Guy Kremer’s salon in Parchment Street, Winchester, from 4.30pm until 7.30pm.
TV chef James Martin will be there to support Alex and Saints star Jay Rodriguez will drop in a pair of football boots for the auction, signed by his teammates.
Other events include a golf day hosted by Dickie Davies and a charity fishing day.
THE Daily Echo today is backing a campaign to urge people across Hampshire to ‘Do It For Alex’.
We applaud the courage of the dad-of-one for speaking out at a terrible time in the name of spreading hope to others.
Alex insists he is lucky to be alive and says his near-death experience has made him realise just how precious life is.
Today this newspaper is calling on people across the county to show their support.
The Al Lewis Trust will help fund rehabilitation costs for Alex as the couple search for a suitable home and ways for him to re-establish his independence.
Alex also wants to help the intensive care unit at Salisbury District Hospital provide services such as Wi-Fi for patients who are there for months at a time.
To support Alex go to https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/diiy9/ab/2332U5 or send any donations to Mark Hooton Chartered Accountants, a trustee of the Al Lewis Trust, at 2 Butlers Close, Lockerley, SO51 0LY.
To send Alex a message, email firstname.lastname@example.org.