A Sydney nurse and father is in a critical condition after he suddenly fell ill with a mysterious virus believed to be contracted from a patient who coughed on him.
Russell Marsh, 39, a registered nurse in the emergency department at Fairfield Hospital, remains on life support and is suffering from acute respiratory failure as well as kidney failure, according to a family member on GoFundMe.
On Feb. 12, Marsh was on duty working in the emergency department when one of the patients coughed on him. Two days later, the 39-year-old started to feel ill, suffering from chills, vigorous coughing, and a fever.
“He came home from work and said to me, ‘Oh you know, I had a sick patient and they were coughing all over me,’ and he just didn’t understand why they couldn’t cover up, it was directly in his face,” Marsh’s wife Helen told 9News.
“We don’t know for sure, but he was fine and healthy before then and we just came to think that he caught the flu or the bug off the patient who coughed on him,” she added.
Marsh then took time off work and was himself taken to the emergency department after complaining about shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
“Upon the assessment, Russell was not getting enough oxygen to his brain and body, and was placed on non-invasive ventilation and admitted to the high dependency unit,” his sister-in-law Jasmine Nguyen wrote on the family’s GoFundMe page.
“Less than 24 hours later, Russell was placed on life support, where he remains today,” she said. He is still in a coma, reported 7News.
According to Helen, the doctors said Marsh’s condition could have been caused by pneumonia but were not able to determine the exact cause of his sudden decline in health.
“They think it’s some sort of virus but they don’t know and they said there is a possibility they may never know,” she told the news station.
The couple has been married for 20 years and have a 9-year-old son, Ronan.
The GoFundMe page has exceeded its $10,000 goal to support the family during the ordeal.
“We are praying he makes it through this, and although he may suffer ongoing neurological issues and require ongoing mobility rehabilitation, we all want him to recover and be able to spend many more precious years with his wife and son who means the world to him,” Nguyen wrote.