The hospitality industry raised more than £26,000 at the Cateys on Tuesday night in support off the Alex Lewis Trust, after an emotional and inspirational appeal from its beneficiary.
Speaking at the event, Alex Lewis, whose partner Lucy Townsend runs the Greyhound on the Test pub in Stockbridge, Hampshire, told 1,200 guests how symptoms of what appeared to be a common cold led to him collapsing and being rushed to hospital where, within a few hours, his vital organs began to shut down. Lewis had contracted strep A toxic shock syndrome, septicaemia and the flesh-eating disease necrotising fasciitis.
His condition led to a quadruple amputation, skin grafts and facial reconstruction.
The money raised at the Cateys, which with pledges could surpass the £26,000 raised, will go towards rehabilitation costs, wheelchairs, home adjustments and prosthetics.
Lewis told The Caterer: "To be part of the hospitality ‘family' is one thing, but to see how the cream of the industry came together to support my trust at the Cateys was overwhelming. I am incredibly humbled by it and, it goes without saying, truly grateful to everyone involved."
The Caterer editor Amanda Afiya said: "Everybody in the room at the Cateys was astounded by both Alex's and Lucy's courage. The hospitality industry is fantastic at supporting its own and it was our privilege to shine a spotlight on the trust on Tuesday."
To support the Alex Lewis Trust or make a donation, visit www.alex-lewis.co.uk.