death of a customer

Written by Michael Zangerle on . Posted in Malaysia

Early July we had a young man here from the Netherlands. He and his girlfriend had a reunion with her family who where diving already with us.

He did not have a diving certification so he attended a course with us. For our freelance instructor Tom it was the first course as a newly certified instructor.

At the end of his first dive the student had a little headache but he did not drink enough during the day. Next day he felt a little sore and had some cramps in his lower legs. On his third day he had cough and spit a little blood. We gave him oxygen and looked at his symptoms. We went over to see the doctor in the village with him. The doc measured temperature and looked at his spit. He thought about tuberculosis.

The last ferry left the island already at 5pm so we asked the doctor several times if he should not take the ambulance boat to go to hospital on the main land. But the doc reassured that there is no hurry.  He should leave the next ferry 8am. Our student felt better and did not want to leave anyway.

At 9pm we were called down to see our customer again. He ahd difficulties breathing and was sweating extremely with fever. We arrange our boat and a taxi which brought him into the hospital immediately.

We were thinking about him every minute since. His girlfriend was completely relaxed, drank a beer and was eating while he lay on the floor in our dive center. She thought he is overreacting a little. She came back next morning to grab their luggage and informed us that he is doing ok, eating and talking. She would keep us posted.

She did not come back to us with any information so we dropped her one SMS which she answered immediately with a phone call. She told us that he had passed away. We were all very shocked. As we did a medical assessment including the countries where say have been it could have been Malaria, Tuberculosis, H1N1. Information enough to be scared!

She gave us information about his death. He had just eaten and was to be transported into a different hospital while she was her to get their stuff. The doctor did x-ray and blood tests before the transport and found nothing. Within seconds in the ambulance his lungs collapsed, he was bleeding into his lungs. She got this information when she arrive at the first hospital. He was dead already.

We did some research and found different stuff about H1N1 within Malaysia who died the same way. You can imagine how we do feel right now.

We were unsecure with every cough or headache or fever. Nadine became very sick days later with fever and all that shit. We tried to be relaxed but it was hard not to freak out. He was only 22 years and seemed to be healthy.

They did autopsies but did not find the reason for his death. We will never now it as he was cremated days later in Netherlands.

subsequent entry May 2011: A autopsy cleared that he died of Weil´s Desease. He died because he ate food with rats pee on it in China.