Legionnaires disease exacerbates underlying heart condition! The Daily Mail has reported on a case of 40 year old Christopher Rasor who has contracted Legionnaires disease while on holiday with his family,
A father has been left needing a heart transplant after being struck down by Legionnaires’ disease on holiday.
Christopher Rasor suddenly fell ill with the condition, a potentially lethal type of pneumonia, while in Spain in August.
The father-of-two, 40, is now fighting for his life after the lung infection exacerbated an underlying heart condition.
He had apparently contracted the disease while on a business trip to Brussels – but only started feeling ill on holiday a week later.
He was flown home but remains in hospital in a critical condition, with his wife Anna and children Jesse, seven, and Emmy, four, at his bedside.
Doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridgeshire have said he must have a heart transplant to survive.
He is still having regular dialysis and is dependent on a machine to help him breathe.
Mrs Rasor, 38, from Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, said: ‘I was totally shell-shocked. Everything was normal in the first week of our holiday but Chris kept saying that he was tired, he was always feeling exhausted and thought he just needed rest.’
But a week into their family holiday, Mr Rasor, a business analyst, was rushed to an intensive care unit in Malaga after being told he was suffering from the serious infection.
Mrs Rasor, a wedding planner, said: ‘A number of people were reported to have been struck down with Legionnaires’ in Brussels, where Chris had just come back from.’
Legionella bacteria, which can lie undetected in the body for up to two weeks, is often spread through contaminated water.
It begins with mild flu-like symptoms, and progresses to a persistent cough and shortness of breath.
However, for Mr Rasor, the disease has also made a dormant heart condition worse.
Unknowingly, he suffers from dilated cardiomyopathy – where the heart is weakened and struggles to pump blood.
Mrs Rasor hopes that this week he will be put on the organ waiting list. He will also have a series of tests to determine whether he will be marked as ‘urgent’.
Mrs Rasor said: ‘He’s dependent on machines keeping him alive, so that must be urgent, surely.’
She added: ‘The kids have been absolute troopers. They miss him like crazy. He can’t speak to them because he has the tool in his throat to help him breathe. We communicate mainly through lip-reading.’
A fundraising page which has been set up for the family has raised £7,000 of the £10,000 target set for Mr Rasor’s care when he comes home.
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