'A broken Christmas': The moment Jess found out her husband died during the NSW storm.

Primary school teacher Jess Martin had only just arrived home with nine-year-old daughter Amarni when there was a knock at the door.

A member of the New South Wales SES was at their Albion Park home to deliver devastating news: Jess’ husband and Amarni’s father Billy had died.

It was Wednesday, 28 November – the day of the storms that battered Sydney and wider NSW – and Billy, a 39-year-old SES volunteer had been attending a call out when he suffered cardiac arrest. He was rushed to hospital, but sadly could not be revived.

A GoFundMe page set up by family on behalf of Jess and Amarni was titled “a broken Christmas and a heartbroken family”.

billy, amarni and jess martin
Image: GoFundMe.

"This news has broken not only Jess and Amarni but every single person that has had the pleasure of knowing Billy," the page said.

"We have lost a brother and a best friend, a man with the biggest heart that would go out of his way to help anyone."

The page revealed how overwhelmed the family was with the outpouring of support.

"We're overwhelmed by the amount of people that had rushed to the hospital that afternoon from family to friends, to work colleagues, to support Jess and pay their respects to Billy.


"We believe that this showed just how kind, compassionate, caring, selfless and a loving man that Billy truly was."

The page hoped to raise enough money for Jess and Amarni to "still be able to enjoy a Christmas full of presents, surrounded by loving family and not have to worry about financial worries" as well as pay for funeral costs.

"This is a tragic event and my deepest sympathies are with the man’s family and friends," Minister for Emergency Services Troy Grant said in a statement following Billy's death.

"My thoughts and prayers are also with the broader emergency services community, especially the SES crew who performed first aid on the man."

Billy was one of three people to die during Wednesday's storms.

Fourteen-year-old Dylan Langhorne died in a two-car collision in Thornleigh and a third man was unable to be revived when his car hit a pole just after 7pm in South Wentworthville.

You can donate to the GoFundMe for Jess and Amarni here. 

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