Russell Marsh, an emergency nurse is currently in an a coma and on life-support after he was exposed to a sick patient during the course of his duties as a nurse. Pictured with his son Ronan. Picture: GoFundMe
Russell Marsh, an emergency nurse is currently in an a coma and on life-support after he was exposed to a sick patient during the course of his duties as a nurse. Pictured with his son Ronan. Picture: GoFundMe

Nurse on life support after sick patient coughs on him

A SYDNEY father is in a coma fighting for his life after being coughed on by a sick patient while working as a registered nurse in a hospital emergency department.

Russell Marsh, 39, remains on life support with acute respiratory and kidney failure.

His wife Helen told Nine.com.au that her healthy husband fell gravely ill two days after the incident at Fairfield Hospital on February 12.

Doctors have been unable to determine what is making Mr Marsh sick. Picture: GoFundMe
Doctors have been unable to determine what is making Mr Marsh sick. Picture: GoFundMe

"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," Ms Marsh said

"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."

Four days later Mr Marsh took time off work complaining of shortness of breath and difficulties breathing. He was taken to hospital where it was discovered he was not getting enough oxygen to his brain and body. Mr Marsh was thenplaced on non-invasive ventilation and admitted to the High Dependency Unit.

Russell Marsh with his wife Helen and nine-year-old son Ronan. Picture: GoFundMe
Russell Marsh with his wife Helen and nine-year-old son Ronan. Picture: GoFundMe

Less than 24 hours later Mr Marsh was placed on life support with acute respiratory failure and kidney failure. He remains in a coma.

Ms Marsh said doctors could not determine the nature of his illness.

"They think it's some sort of virus but they don't know and they said there is a possibly they may never know," she said.

Mr Marsh is fighting for life in hospital. Picture: GoFundMe
Mr Marsh is fighting for life in hospital. Picture: GoFundMe

Mr Marsh's sister-inlaw Jasmine Nguyen has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with their ongoing medical expenses.

"Russell is married to my sister of 20 years and both went through a hard arduous journey to conceive their now healthy nine year-old son Ronan through IVF.

"Russell has always been a happy and cheerful young man who recently celebrated his 39th birthday last month.

"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 mean the world to him."


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