An American father has been put on a ventilator after being struck down by a ‘mystery respiratory infection’ while in the Philippines for his mother’s funeral.
Armando Ramos, 53, from California, has tested negative for Covid and the flu — leaving doctors struggling to work out the cause of his illness.
The father-of-three — who has no underlying conditions — has also been intubated and suffered a collapsed lung, brain inflammation and kidney problems.
He is being treated at a hospital in Manila after his sore throat progressed into chest pains and breathing problems within five days. He had flown to the country in early August.
Armando Ramos, 53, has been intubated and placed on a ventilator in hospital after suffering from a ‘mystery illness’. He was visiting the Philippines from California when he started suffering a sore throat, which quickly progressed into chest pains and breathing problems
The above is a screen grab from a call with his three daughters — Yasmin, Emma and A.J. — on the day he was admitted to hospital. He is shown inset top left
His daughters Emma and A.J. Gaines-Ramos told local news the illness felt like a ‘cruel deja vu’ with the Covid pandemic.
‘Right now, it’s a mystery,’ Emma told the publication. ‘Every day, we still don’t know what’s happening to him.
‘It’s traumatizing, in the sense, when the pandemic first occurred, nobody knew what was happening.
‘You’re kind of just treating the symptoms, but not getting to the source of it.
‘That’s what it feels like is happening right now.’
A.J. added: ‘It’s a cruel deja vu with the pandemic. Every day, anticipating his state and not knowing, it’s scary.’
Mr Ramos had flown to the Philippines from Chula Vista, California, in early August for his late mother’s funeral.
He attended the ceremony where he placed a vase containing her ashes inside a mausoleum.
He began to suffer from a sore throat and persistent tiredness and five days later he went to hospital when his symptoms progressed to chest pains and breathing problems, where doctors diagnosed him with pneumonia and placed him on a ventilator.
His condition continued to deteriorate with his daughters saying that as well as lung, brain and kidney problems, he also had complications with his heart and liver.
He was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital as doctors battled the infection.
Recently, doctors also pumped bacteria-filled fluid from his lungs.
Tests for viral infections were negative, but it was not clear whether swabs had also been carried out for bacterial infections — like streptococcus pneumoniae.
Emma and A.J., pictured during an interview, said his mystery illness reminded them of the early days of the Covid pandemic
Mr Ramos is pictured above with his three daughters several years ago. This image was posted as part of a video requesting donations to help fund their father’s hospital care
He is also being tested for meningitis, a condition where an infection causes inflammation of the fluid and membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection.
The father has already been in hospital for a week battling the illness.
Over the last few days, there have been some signs of improvements with his kidney function improving and a rise in oxygen levels in his blood — although he remains in the ICU.
Doctors say he will likely be in the unit for at least another two weeks while they wait for his condition to improve.
The daughters’ mother has flown out to be by his bedside.
They added that their father was otherwise healthy and would exercise regularly.
The family revealed their case in a GoFundMe where they are appealing for $50,000 to help cover international hospital bills. Currently, they have raised $20,000.
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