Sunday, July 21, 2024

NSW paramedic farewelled by crowd of more than 1,000

NSW paramedic, Steven Tougher, 29, who was fatally stabbed in Sydney’s south-west a fortnight ago, has been farewelled in an emotional service attended by more than 1,000 family, friends, colleagues and dignitaries in Wollongong.

“It was with immense sadness that we said goodbye to colleague Steven Tougher at the University of Wollongong earlier today,” NSW Ambulance said in a statement.

“Thank you to everyone in attendance and all those who joined the livestream. Your support means everything to the Tougher family and to all of us across NSW Ambulance.

“Let’s ensure Steven’s bright light shines on forever more.”

The young husband and father – married for just five weeks at the time of his death – was allegedly stabbed while on a break with his colleague outside a McDonald’s restaurant.

NSW Ambulance Commissioner, Dominic Morgan.

“Every single one of his colleagues has spoken about his larger-than-life personality, his sense of humour, but also his strong sense of natural justice,” NSW Ambulance Commissioner, Dominic Morgan told those at the service.

“Everything about Steven was big. From his big heart, to his big height … his big smile, his big laugh, his enthusiasm and commitment for everything that he did.”

Steven’s father, Jeff, said his heart had been “smashed” by the loss of his boy, and he ached to hear his son’s voice again.

“I miss my beautiful boy,” he said.

“His compassion was as big as his heart and his bear hugs were something to be experienced.

“Since he’s been gone the mornings are cloudy and grey and the nights are long and dark.

Steven’s wife, Madison, who is expecting the couple’s second child, told those gathered that she had fallen for her future husband the moment they met at a pub in Wollongong.

“Knowing how many lives you’ve touched during your time here makes me feel so privileged and proud to tell people that I am your wife,” Madison said. 

“Today I vow that our two beautiful children will always know what a selfless, hard-working, kind, compassionate person you were.

“They will forever know how their dad was a hero who helped people through their most painful and sickest times.”

Following the service, attendees formed a guard of honour outside the University of Wollongong, as the much-loved paramedic’s casket was driven away.

Three helicopters also performed a flyover at the conclusion of the service.

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