A 25-year-old Neptune firefighter and U.S. Marine Veteran has always been helping others but now it is time for others to focus the person who always wanted to help them.
Scott A. Nokes, who lives in the Shark River Hills section of Neptune, recently contracted a horrible infection that took over his system. He ended up at Jersey Shore University Medical Center where both his legs were amputated below the knees. He also lost his vision due to the infection and underwent kidney dialysis.
Words like “shock,” “anger,” and “disbelief” were the only way his mother, Janice Nokes, could describe the emotions when things went terribly bad for her son.
His illness was believed to have started as ulcerative colitis that became toxic. From there, it spread to his lungs and then his heart and, in a matter of hours, he slid from a treatable condition to the intensive care unit.
“Doctors said they did not believe he would survive but he is still fighting,” Janice said.
And Nokes’ friends are also still fighting along his side.
A benefit fundraiser for Nokes was held Nov. 13 at the Headliner nightclub in Neptune and money raised will go toward covering his medical expenses. Friends have also set up a page at www.GoFundMe.com to continue to raise money. The benefit drew hundreds and included firefighters, restaurant and bar staffers and patrons from around the area. More than 100 gift baskets were donated.
“Please consider helping a great man who is a constant source of joy in so many lives,” it says on the fundraising page.
And Janice said she and her husband, Al, are so appreciative for the fundraiser.
“I was amazed, overwhelmed and thankful- it is really so hard to describe. But we continue to raise money because his expenses are not going to end. We still have a lot of work to do before he can come home,” she said.
On November 8, Nokes was transferred to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in East Orange and he hopes to come home to Shark River Hillis in March or April. Attempts will also be made to restore his vision.
“He is up at Kessler and has a phenomenal attitude, which has been his saving grace all along. He is making progress one day at a time. He is alert and aware of the support he is getting,” his mother said.
She said that the benefit raised a lot of money and that these efforts will continue.
“A lot of people we don’t even know are donating money- it’s just unbelievable. There is a lot of love and amazing people out there,” she said.
Nokes is a volunteer with the Shark River Hills Fire Department and served two tours in Afghanistan with the U.S. Marines. He was a waiter at Kelly’s Tavern and also worked the door at the Headliner and Norwood Inn.