Nurse Who Contracted Mysterious Illness Dies in Hospital

March 19, 2018 Updated: March 19, 2018

A Sydney nurse and father who last month suddenly fell ill with a mysterious virus has passed away, according to family members.

Russell Marsh, 39, a registered nurse in the emergency department at Fairfield Hospital, passed away on Friday, March 16, almost a month after he was struck down with the mysterious illness.

“With a heavy heart, I would like to tell everyone Russell passed away early this morning with his family by his side,” sister-in-law Jasmine Nguyen said on the family’s GoFundMe page.

“He fought a hard battle over the past 4 weeks but unfortunately, it was a battle he did not win. We would to thank everyone for their support, prays, donation and love,” she added.

Epoch Times Photo
(Marsh Family Support Fund/GoFundMe)

Marsh had been healthy until two days after Feb. 12 when he complained that a patient had coughed on him, his wife Helen told 9News last month.

“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,” Helen said.

The 39-year-old started to feel ill, suffering from chills, vigorous coughing, and a fever. He then took time off work and was 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,” Nguyen wrote on the crowdsourcing page.

Epoch Times Photo
(Marsh Family Support Fund/GoFundMe)

When his condition worsened, he was placed on life support with acute respiratory failure as well as kidney failure.

An inquiry by Fairfield Hospital found that there was no link between the sick, coughing patient and Marsh’s illness.

“Fairfield Hospital has conducted an investigation and can confirm there is no connection between a patient for whom Mr Marsh was caring and Mr Marsh’s illness,” the hospital’s General Manager Arnold Tammekand told 9News.

“It is inappropriate for us to speculate further on what might have caused his illness.”

Epoch Times Photo
(Marsh Family Support Fund/GoFundMe)

Helen told 9News that before Marsh’s death, doctors had been unable 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 last month.

The couple has been married for 20 years and has a 9-year-old son, Ronan.

Tammekand told the news station that Marsh was a valued staff member and will be sadly missed.

“All staff at Fairfield Hospital extend their sincere sympathies to Mr Marsh’s family during this difficult time,” he said.

“We have been in touch with Mr Marsh’s wife to offer our condolences for her loss.”


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