PERTH Constable Andrew Osenton has never met fellow police officer Ryan Marron, who contracted the potentially fatal disease Murray Valley encephalitis after being bitten by a mosquito last year.
Nevertheless, like many following Marron’s tragic story, he is deeply moved by the WA cop’s condition, which has rendered him paralysed and completely dependent.
So touched, Const Osenton is helping raise funds for the 30-year-old, currently undergoing specialist treatment in Chicago, through laughter and music.
“I really feel for him regardless of the fact he’s a police officer – it’s a horrible situation for the poor bugger,” Const Osenton said.
“So far he has about $600,000 including money ($400,000) from the government, but we’re about $250,000 short.
“His dad wants to do the best he can for his son, hence taking him to this top-notch US clinic. It’s very expensive, but I’m a dad too and I would do everything I could to make sure my child received the best chance.
“I don’t know if Ryan will recover; everyone hopes he will but he is in a terrible way.”
With the help of The Big HOO-HAA! comedians and friend Australian Idol finalist Courtney Murphy, Const Osenton is hosting a charity show at the Regal Theatre later this month.
He is hoping the show on April 27 will raise about $25,000 for the Ryan Marron Foundation.
Tickets are $25 and available at www.ticketek.com.au.