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Marcus meets motoring idol

CHANCE OF A LIFETIME: Marcus Brown had the opportunity of a lifetime when he met Craig Lowndes at Queensland Raceway during the Ipswich 400.
CHANCE OF A LIFETIME: Marcus Brown had the opportunity of a lifetime when he met Craig Lowndes at Queensland Raceway during the Ipswich 400. PHOTOS Rob Williams And Contributed

MOST people would be familiar with Craig Lowndes' actions on the track - but it was something he did off the track during the Ipswich 400 that brought tears to the eyes of onlookers.

A special young lad from Bremer High just happened to be itching to meet one of his long-time motorsport heroes, and he wasn't to be disappointed.

Approaching the anniversary of a serious asthma attack that left him fighting back from the dead, 15-year-old Marcus Brown received the best morale boost he could hope for - the chance to rub shoulders with the five-time Bathurst winner.

Racing fans watched in disbelief as Lowndes broke through the crowd at Willowbank to say g'day to Marcus, who is fighting an ongoing battle to regain his strength after sustaining brain damage in last year's near-fatal asthma attack.

"It was awesome," Marcus said.

"Lowndesey is definitely my favourite driver now - even if he isn't in a Ford."

The meeting has provided the inspiration that Marcus needs in his ongoing recovery.

It was the Ekka holiday last year when he suffered a massive asthma attack at his North Booval home.

Marcus's mother Julie Brown watched in horror as her son lay motionless for 15 minutes, before paramedics revived him on their front lawn.

The next two-and-a-half months were the worst of Marcus's young life - a time he described as "hell".

He went from a normal teenage boy to someone who the doctors said would never walk again.

"From the moment he heard that, all he wanted to do was walk - and he ended up walking out of the hospital," Ms Brown said.

Marcus still relies on regular physiotherapy and often uses a wheelchair, but is improving all the time.

Providing even more inspiration to regain his independence, is the 1971 Ford Cortina that sits parked in his garage at home.

Marcus hopes to rebuild the vehicle with his father and friends over the next year.

Few were more impressed with Lowndes' gesture than Marcus's special education teacher at Bremer High, Sally Campbell.

"He moved through the crowd to see Marcus. He was quite determined to meet him. There were tears," Ms Campbell said.

"We just wanted them to know how special it was to us."

Topics:  bremer state high school, craig lowndes, marcus brown


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