December 31, 2007 11:58 AM

hard to say goodbye

It is now about 3:35am January 1st 2008 in the Philippines. A new year and a time to celebrate for most, but for my family, it is a time to rest before daylight breaks and the reality sets in. My cousin Joff is 19 years old, a healthy 195 pounds, a second year college student and an athlete.Last night, my aunts and uncles took Joff to a clinic, and his platelet count was at a low 10,000. He got sick after Christmas and has had a nagging cough and high fever. I know that the normal blood platelet count is about 150,000-400,000. Even though the family pleaded for a blood transfusion or that he be rushed to the hospital the doctor (at the clinic) insisted that it would be best to wait. My cousin passed away shortly after midnight from Dengue Fever.

One of the worries of going to the Philippines is getting sick, especially with the devastating Dengue Fever. Dengue Fever or West Nile Fever is a vector-borne infectious disease carried by mosquitoes that can cause rashes, joint pains, fever, nausea and vomiting, pain behind the eyes, high fever, and hemorrhagic fever: damage to blood and lymph vessels, low blood pressure, and shock. ( and
So as this new year comes upon us, we will not be grieving but celebrating the life of an individual whose life was taken far before his time and being thankful for all the blessings we do have in our lives.

For Christmas and New Year's this year we planned on going to the Philippines for a long-awaited visit with relatives, friends, and so my parents could visit home. Unfortunately, our plans fell through, and now I do not think we will be visiting there for a long while.

Our thoughts, prayers, deepest condolences and love go to Jeff, Kina, Kian, Andrea, Roseanne, Edgar, Ed, Bobot, Gi, and all our relatives in the Philippines.

Nikki Fernandez | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (2)

Comments (2)

Damn! I don't even know what to say. I'm glad that you're safe and good and hope that all of you (your family) get through this tough time!

Posted by Juan | 2007-12-31

Wow. Dengue. They warned us we might catch it, talked about it in class before we left for French Polynesia. They said it is transmitted by mosquitos, and usually not fatal. This is sad news, I hope the rest of your family stays well through this rainy season.

Posted by | 2008-01-06

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