It was an incredible shock to family, friends, fans, and fellow DJs when Mark Leventhal, a well-known Miami club figure and father of three, was suddenly seized last month by a terrible brain infection.
Immediately hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Jackson North Medical Center, Leventhal was initially unconscious and unresponsive. But after two weeks, according to sister Amy and son Alec, he woke up, began to "breathe on his own," started responding to "voices and faces," and even "squeezed a friend's hand."
But now Leventhal's sister is asking supporters to "pray for Mark" because "he is not progressing toward recovery."
Only two days ago, Leventhal's family, friends, fans, and fellow DJs spent the evening at South Beach's FDR Lounge at the Delano for a one-night revival of the famous Fat Black Pussycat, one of his classic '90s club gigs.
It was the most recent fundraiser celebrating and benefiting the ailing, uninsured DJ. And his many supporters remained hopeful as the fund for medical expenses approached the $60,000 mark.
Worryingly, though, Leventhal's sister Amy has seemed to grow less optimistic about her brother's prospects for full recovery.
"Thanks for the ongoing support for Mark," she wrote in one of her regular Facebook updates for supporters. "Sometimes no news is no news, sometimes no news is bad news, and sometimes it is good. Mark is getting daily attention and looking more comfortable. His responsiveness with his gaze is sporadic. He is in a new room with lots of sunlight."
And today, she offered an even gloomier report, writing:
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"We (Mark's family) have been wrapping our hearts and minds around the knowledge that Mark's path is not the path we hoped for. He is not progressing toward recovery.
"Even as an adult, we all occasionally have that feeling that if we don't say the truth maybe it won't be true. But, in this moment, I feel brave and I know that my words won't make the difference between recovery and loss.
"Pray for Mark -- peace for him, acceptance and peace for us, comfort in our connection through our love for Mark."