Family, Firefighters Union Asking for Support After Somerset (MA) Paramedic Suffers Stroke

Audrey Cooney

The Herald News, Fall River, Mass.

(MCT)

Sep. 28—SOMERSET — A local family is asking for the community’s support after a Somerset firefighter/paramedic unexpectedly suffered a stroke earlier this month.

“He’s the strongest person I know. He’s definitely making strides every day and getting stronger every day,” said Elizabeth Costa. “But as far as work goes, I don’t know what the future holds for him.”

Costa was speaking about Mark Pavao, her brother. Pavao, who has spent about 15 years with the Somerset Fire Department, suffered a stroke on Sept. 8.

Costa said her brother had previously been diagnosed with chronic hypertension, but the stroke still came as a surprise given his relatively young age: 42.

“He does have a very stressful job,” she said. “But at 42, you don’t expect that to happen.”

Pavao has also worked for the Swansea Ambulance Corps. All told, he’s been a first responder for more than 20 years, since he was about 18 or 20, Costa said.

After initially being brought to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Pavao has since been discharged to a rehabilitation facility to begin his lengthy process of recovery. Now, his family and the Somerset firefighters union are raising money to help pay for his treatment and other associated costs.

They are selling black and red rubber awareness bracelets for $5 each to raise money for Pavao and to increase stroke awareness in general. The bracelets are available at the Somerset Fire Department headquarters.

Costa said her brother would also appreciate thoughtful cards and notes with encouraging messages as he recovers.

“Mark is definitely the type of person who would give the shirt off his back for anyone,” Costa said “At this time, it would mean to world to him for people to get together and raise funds for him so he can have an easier time when he’s out of the hospital.”

Bracelet purchases/donations can be done in person at the fire station or by Venmo @Somerset-firefighters. Cards can be mailed to Somerset Fire Department Care of Mark Pavao, 475 County St,. Somerset, MA.

Audrey Cooney can be reached at acooney@heraldnews.com. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Herald News today.

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