Popular South Florida DJ Mark Leventhal is unconscious and in intensive care at a local hospital after he suddenly fell ill, his sister says.
"He's got (a) systemic infection that's affecting his brain, it's affecting his body and we're really scared for him,” Amy Leventhal said.
Her brother, who has been a pioneering force on the South Beach club scene since 1992, initially presented symptoms including excruciating back pain and fatigue. He was hospitalized last Wednesday and is in the intensive care unit at Jackson North Medical Center.
“He's not responding, he's not talking, he's not conscious,” Amy Leventhal said.
A machine is breathing for Mark Leventhal, and doctors don’t know what caused him to fall ill.
Now, his family is hoping South Florida helps come to the rescue of the DJ, who has been spinning since the early ‘90s at clubs such as The Spot, Warsaw, Groove Jet, Liquid, Lua, and Mynt and at parties for Ocean Drive magazine and countless private and celebrity events.
"He doesn't have insurance. He fell without a safety net,” his sister said. “He's a guy who would give you the shirt off his back. If he didn't have a shirt, he would promise you his shirt the next day.”
Mark Leventhal’s Facebook page has been flooded with notes from well-wishers, and his sister has set up a website on his behalf. Click here for more information.
In just five days, more than $22,000 has been raised for the father of three.
Supporters have also organized a special fundraiser on Tuesday night at Haven lounge, where Leventhal spins regularly. The party starts at 7 p.m., guests are asked to make a minimum donation of $25 to go towards his medical expenses. To date more than 12 local DJs have offered to spin in his honor.
Leventhal has built a following among his fans, and played for big names such as Madonna.
"He's touched them with his music. They have positive memories of going to his parties, but he's got a big heart,” Amy Leventhal said.
She said the outpouring of support and love already has been amazing.
And she is holding out hope for his recovery. An encouraging sign came on Monday.
"They played Bob Marley and his heart rate went up," she said.