The family of a Barrack Heights man is urging people to take care of their health and get anything troubling checked out, as the 49-year-old father continues to fight for his life in hospital.
Brad Law became so unwell on Sunday, October 8 that he went to hospital, where it was discovered he had extremely high blood pressure and a tear in his aorta.
He had surgery to insert stents, but a lack of blood flow damaged other vital organs including his liver, kidney and intestines, forcing him to undergo another lengthy operation.
He remains in Wollongong Hospital's intensive care unit in a critical condition, while his family anxiously awaits news of what comes next.
"Everything's a little unknown at the moment," his older brother Andrew said.
His sister Rebecca said his doctors reported it was rare for someone as young as Brad to suffer an aortic dissection, or tear.
Andrew said Brad had been under a lot of stress and had symptoms before he became seriously unwell, but "his attitude was, 'Oh, it'll be right'."
Rebecca said being self-employed, he was also focused more on his work.
Andrew urged people not to "put things off" and be proactive with their own health, saying what had happened with Brad had been a "real wake-up call".
Andrew and Rebecca, their sister Jane and mother Lyn are now fundraising to support Brad through his recovery, especially because as a contract painter, Brad has no income while he is off work.
The GoFundMe page had raised over $5900 by mid-Thursday afternoon in a show of support that Andrew has described as "amazing".
"It just gives you hope... knowing you've got people behind you," Andrew said, adding the family was grateful for any support.
"It's phenomenal, the support and love people are giving," Rebecca said, with donations coming in from various communities Brad and his family members had lived in.
Brad is the father of a teenage son and one of four siblings in a tight-knit family.
"He's a quiet achiever - hard-working, quiet-natured, just loves his family," Andrew said, adding, "He lives for his son... his son's an amazing young man, very brave with what he's going through".
The GoFundMe page supporting Brad through his recovery can be found at www.gofundme.com/f/bradley-laws-road-to-recovery.
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