A dedicated police officer and soon to be father-of-three is facing a lifetime of paralysis after tragedy struck in the run-up to Christmas.
Pc Darren Triggs was at home with his pregnant wife and two young children when he felt chest pain and numbness in his legs.
The next thing he knew he was being rushed to hospital where surgeons battled to save his ability to walk after finding a blood clot in his spine.
Despite their best efforts, the 36-year-old veteran Sussex Police officer was left paralysed from the chest down.
Pc Triggs, who lives in the village of Fishbourne and serves the community around Chichester in West Sussex, has been described as a model policeman.
The tragedy came just four days after he was assaulted in the line of duty, but doctors do not know if this led to the blood clot, his superior officer said.
He first felt pain on the morning of December 3 while at home with his wife Rosie, who is seven months’ pregnant, and their daughters Daisy, four, and one-year-old Amelie.
His senior officer at Sussex Police, Inspector David Derrick, said: “As a family they are being really brave.
“His wife is really, really supportive and brave.”
Pc Triggs’ fellow officers are “heartbroken” and have banded together to do what they can for their friend and colleague, he added.
With Pc Triggs facing a lifetime of paralysis that leaves him struggling to sit up, his colleagues and friends started fundraising to help him and his family in the future.
In less than 24 hours, more than £17,000 has been raised.
Insp Derrick said: “Sadly Darren is only a 14-year Pc which means he has only got 14 years of pension.
“Him and his children will really need this in the months and years to come. That is why it’s important to us to drive (the fundraising) as much as possible.”
Donations have come from far and wide, including from police commanders in the United States, which Insp Derrick said is “fantastic”.
The JustGiving page can be found at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/pc-darren-triggs-sussex
Insp Derrick said: “All the teams at Chichester are heartbroken for him.
“He has been in the same section for 14 years which is almost unprecedented in police circles.
“Being a local resident he really cares about and knows the communities around this town.
“He’s dedicated to his work, he’s dedicated to serving victims of crimes and to policing his communities.”