A GoFundMe page set up for the widow of the paramedic fatally stabbed at McDonald’s Restaurant in Campbelltown has raised over $100,000 as of now.
The 29 year old paramedic has been identified as Steven Tougher who was just married five weeks ago.
Mr Tougher was about to go on paternity leave as his wife Madison is due to have her second child in a few short weeks.
Adam McKaig who organised the GoFundMe page states that, “Madison is a valued team member of the Core Disability Network and her partner was well-known to our community. “
“We hope that any funds raised through this platform can go to support Madison and her family during this extremely difficult time. On behalf of the Core Disability Network we extend our deepest condolences to Madison and her young family,” the fundraiser states.
For those who would like to donate, here is the link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-madison-and-her-family
Meanwhile a make-shift memorial outside the McDonald’s restaurant on Queen Street, Campbelltown, is filling up with floral tributes, cards of sympathy and words of gratitude.
Retired paramedic Scott Fogarty placed at the memorial an emotional letter that highlighted the perils of being a paramedic.
“We know the dangers and unfortunately are exposed to those dangers far too often, but we all hope that at the end of our shift we can go home to our loved ones in one piece,” Mr Fogarty wrote.
“Some of us break down after years of burnout and torment from the trauma we experience, some push on carrying the scars.
“Unfortunately for this young man his duty and career has ended far too soon from the very thing that scares us all while on duty.”
Mr Tougher and one other colleague were taking a meal break at the McDonald’s when the incident occurred.
The paramedic was apparently sitting in the back of the ambulance doing paperwork when his attacker pulled open the door and stabbed him multiple times.
He was treated at the scene and then rushed to Liverpool Hospital where he died.
Tributes, memories and condolences to Madison and the family continue to flood social media from a local community devastated by the incident and now fearing for their own safety.
“Buddy it was a blessing to have known you and be blessed to have experienced the warmth of your beautiful soul…. No words can explain how unfair this is.”
“RIP to a beautiful man that I was fortunate enough to meet. Sending your family and friends and those involved in this tragedy love and comfort in an extremely devastating and difficult time. Absolutely heart breaking there are just no words. I’m so sorry Steven Tougher.”
Members of the Online SRC, that represents online students at Charles Sturt University, fondly recalled Tougher as their Vice-President in 2019-2020 and President in 2020-21, and wrote, “He was the most caring, passionate and all-rounder member who paved the way to what the Online SRC is now.”
Offering his condolences, NSW Premier Chris Minns said, “I say to all paramedics in New South Wales today who after hearing this news, put on their paramedic uniform and serve the people of New South Wales – thank you for your dedication.”
Health Minister Ryan Park said that today was a tragic day for the people of NSW and a reminder of the dangers our emergency service personnel can confront every day.
“Our paramedics have been some of the heroes of the pandemic over the last few years and to have one of their own lose their life in this way is without a doubt a heavy burden for all of them to carry and my thoughts are with our paramedics and emergency call responders across NSW,” he said.
“I have had a number of discussions with Commissioner Morgan and the Secretary Susan Pearce and collectively as a health family we will wrap all available resources and support around the family and colleagues over the coming days, weeks and months.”