VILLAGERS turned out at a fundraiser for a young dad who was struck down by a deadly bug.

Although the heavens opened for the Bridge Festival last Saturday crowds still poured into Stockbridge Recr-eation Ground for the wide range of food and music on offer.

The day was to fundraise for Alex Lewis – a villager who has now lost all four of his limbs after contracting a deadly Group A streptococcus.

Alex initially lost three limbs, part of his nose and his lips when the normally harmless bacterial infection rapidly developed into multiple organ failure, septicaemia and toxic shock syndrome.

Remarkably, Alex beat the odds to survive and underwent pioneering surgery to save his right arm.

Medics performed a 16-hour operation in which they stripped his arm back to its skeleton and pieced it back together using muscle and nerves taken from his back.

But last month Alex broke his remaining arm in three places.

Hospital scans revealed that the Strep A had caused an infection which had weakened the bones beyond repair.

He now faces six weeks in Salisbury District Hospital, where doctors will also perform surgery to reconstruct his lips.

The brave dad still managed to make the music festival to thank everyone who turned out for the day, which raised about £2,000.

It was organised by Stockbridge Football Club, with more than 300 people supporting the event.

Sheriden Sleap, one of the many volunteers, said: “The atmosphere was exceptional.

“Undoubtedly, the highlight of the event was the crowd raising the roof for Alex after he came on stage and thanked everyone.

“The last song, chosen by Alex, saw a special guest, Sarah Couch, join us to sing Nobody Does It Better by Carly Simon. There was not a dry eye in the house and plenty of lighters in the air.”

Celebrities on stage introducing the acts and saying a few words included Jim Davidson and Guy Kremer.

Sheriden added: “If we could thank Ichtus Event Management, Code 9 Security and Speedy Hire who provided equipment for the event and to all the businesses in Stockbridge who had the confidence in the team to upfront fund the event.”

Villagers can also support the Al Lewis Trust through the Co-op community support card, which is available in the High Street shop.

So far, more than £35,000 has been raised in just a few months for the trust after celebrities, members of the community and total strangers have rallied around to help with the costs of Alex’s rehabilitation.