Can you imagine being healthy your entire life and then all of sudden finding yourself fighting for your life? It is an astonishing thing to contemplate, and the prospect of death is a real one for Russell Marsh. Russell was a nurse in a hospital in Sydney, Australia, who had remained healthy almost his whole life – but the father and loving husband is now in the situation where he has to spend every moment fighting to stay alive. The heartbreak is strong in this one. For his story, because he is unable to talk, we have to rely on his wife, Helen.
The 39-year-old Russell was a nurse in the RPA Hospital in Sydney, Australia. He told his wife one day that a critically ill patient had coughed on him. To him, this wasn’t especially worrying – and, in all honesty, it probably happened more than even he realized. Such is the nature of the job for a nurse, whereas doctors often get to be more careful and are able to stay out of the way of terminally ill patients. While doctors only see patients briefly, nurses have to spend a lot more time with them and are often subjected to all sorts of illnesses and diseases. It just so happens that the one Russell seems to have contracted is a terrible, terrible one.
Two days after the patient coughed on Russell he came down with an extremely high fever. After four days Russell decided something truly was going wrong with him and he took some time off work. The patient had coughed on him on February 12, but now, only four days later he was experiencing multiple worrying symptoms. With difficulty breathing and an increasing shortness of breath, Russell had himself taken to the emergency department where further tests were conducted on his body. His sister-in-law Jasmine Nguyen said that after doctors found Russell’s body was not working to get enough oxygen to his brain or the rest of his body, they took action: ““Less than 24 hours later, Russell was placed on life support, where he remains today, due to acute respiratory failure, caused by possible pneumonia.”
Russell’s family is reeling from the sudden shocks, and his young son, Ronan, is especially traumatized by the news. Ronan was a much-desired child for Russell, an IVF baby that Russell and his wife Helen worked hard to have. Support for Russell is found on a GoFundMe page started by Jasmine Nguyen.“We are praying Russell 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 mean the world to him,” she said.
Part of why this is so odd is because, according to his family, Russell had no previous health issues. By all accounts he was a remarkably healthy man, not yet 40-years-old, and loved his work in the hospital. Because the health care promises to be expensive, Jasmine set up the online funding account to share his story and support her sister with what promises to be a lengthy and confusing stay in the hospital for Russell.