DJ Mark Leventhal Recovering from Brain Infection, "Starting to Breathe on His Own"

It's been two weeks since Mark Leventhal -- a four-decade veteran of the club scene, well-known South Beach DJ, and father of three -- fell "gravely ill," in the words of his sister Amy, with "an infection that is affecting his body and his brain."

Following the onset of this sudden health crisis, Leventhal was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at Jackson North Medical Center. And initially, he was unresponsive.

Now, though, he is showing signs of recovery.

UPDATE According to his sister Amy, DJ Mark Leventhal's improvement has stalled and "he is not progressing toward recovery."

UPDATE #2 Tragically, DJ Mark Leventhal has "passed away," his sister says.

Yesterday, posting a Facebook update regarding his father's condition, Leventhal's eldest son, Alec, wrote: "My Dad is starting to breathe on his own I can't wait until he's better."

Meanwhile, Leventhal's sister Amy told supporters that her brother "is doing more of the breathing, he is more responsive to voices and faces. You have to yell at him though and be patient for a response but that isn't unfamiliar!

"His range of motion is showing little improvements," she added. "He squeezed a friend's hand. Baby steps. Keep the love coming!"

Already, Leventhal's family, friends, fans, and fellow DJs have put together over $50,000 through a YouCaring.com campaign to help pay off his medical bills.

Since his hospitalization, there have also been fundraisers at Lincoln Road's Haven Lounge and Miami Beach's Foxhole. Of course, though, Leventhal's recovery will take considerable time and extensive treatment. So next Tuesday, supporters will host another benefit night.

Reuniting many of the DJ's former SoBe pals, the February 10 fundraiser will be a one-night revival of the famous Fat Black Pussycat party, which was among Leventhal's signature '90s residencies.

So show up, share some cash, and support this self-described "dad, workaholic, [and] nice guy"

The Legendary Fat Black Pussycat: A One-Night Fundraiser for DJ Mark Leventhal. Hosted by Fat Black Pussycat originators Chris Paciello, Ernie Harrell, Conrad Gomez, Carl B, Keith Paciello, DJ Sugar, and others. With DJs Mr. Mauricio, Epps, Radamas, and photography by World Red Eye. Tuesday, February 10. FDR Lounge at the Delano, 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. The event begins at 10 p.m. Open bar from 10 to midnight with a minimum donation of $20. For table reservations, please call 305-924-4071 or email FDRVIP@lightmia.com. Visit the Mark Leventhal Fund on YouCaring.org.

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