Christmas Plea By 'Heartbroken' Family Of SES Volunteer
The "heartbroken" family of SES volunteer Billy Martin have made a public plea after being left without their husband and father so close to Christmas.
Billy was tragically died after going into cardiac arrest while on duty during the Sydney storms on Wednesday.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Billy's wife Jess and their nine-year-old daughter Armani, by family member Mitch Dawkins.
"At 39 years of age Billy leaves behind a broken wife and a 9 year old daughter that have lost their devoted and loving husband and father, and right before Christmas," said Dawkins, who is Jess' brother.
The family has been shaken by the tragedy that happened just weeks out from Christmas.
But the family is determined to celebrate Christmas "surrounded by loving family."
"Billy always strove to provide Amarni with an amazing Christmas and life which was surrounded by family and amazing adventures," said Dawkins.
"We intend to raise funds for our sister Jess and our beautiful niece Amarni, so that despite this devastating and heart breaking situation they will still be able to enjoy a Christmas full of presents surrounded by loving family and not have to worry about financial worries."
Billy was described by Dawkins as a "kind, compassionate, caring, selfless and a loving man", and that the family had lost "a brother and a best friend".
The family offered thanks to everyone who had supported them on the day Billy died.
"[We] were overwhelmed by the amount of people that had rushed to the hospital that afternoon from family to friends, to work colleagues, to support Jess and pay their respects to Billy."
The GoFundMe plea has already surpassed the $20,000 amount set -- it currently sits at almost $24,000.