Sunday benefit to help ill beach firefighter

Navarre Beach firefighter Chris Jines, 42, was hospitalized earlier this month with a serious brain infection likely contracted while responding to a cardiac arrest.

To help pay for his medical bills and to help keep him, his wife and two young children afloat, the Navarre Beach Fire Department will be hosting a fundraising benefit Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Juana’s Pagodas. There were raffles of donated prizes as well as food, drinks and live entertainment provided by Deputy Chief Kevin Rudzki and his wife Rene Wallis Rudzki.

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Jines has a case of severe encephalitis which can cause brain inflammation, headaches, flu-like symptoms, stiffness, seizures, confusion and memory loss. Encephalitis cases are generally mild and uncommon in those under 50, but Jines’ case is severe and was potentially life threatening, according to his doctors.

It is suspected that Jines became infected while responding to a cardiac arrest in which he was exposed to bodily fluids in mid-November.

He was released from the hospital early last week to continue treatment in the comfort of his home. Though he is awake, Jines still has difficulty carrying on conversations, loses his train of thought easily or responds after a delay. Medication must be administered by a nurse twice a day.

A Go Fund Me account under the name “Chris Jines Recovery Contributions” created by Captain Danny Fureigh has raised more than $4,800 to help pay for medical expenses.

Go Fund Me is a social media platform where users can setup online donation accounts for any number of causes that site visitors can make donations to, of any size.

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Navarre FL 32566

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