Family of Man Who Died from H1N1 Speaks to Action News

August 11, 2009 1:12:48 AM PDT
Another man in his twenties has died from the H1N1 flu virus in Fresno County.Family members say Jesus "Danny" DonDiego died Saturday morning from complications of the flu.

Danny DonDiego was a healthy young man who never had anything beyond the common flu or cold, so his family was rather surprised when he initially got pneumonia and then ended up dying from H1N1.

Jesus "Danny" DonDiego loved to dance and have fun. Just a week before he got sick, he hit the dance floor at a family graduation party. This is the last fond memory many loved ones have of him.

His mother says he went from being perfectly normal to critically ill within a few short days.

Jennie Ramos said, "When they did finally tell me what my baby had, I lost it. I was really going ballistic because I couldn't believe it and that's when the doctors said as far as his percentage coming out of it, I only had 30 percent."

For more than 40 long days ? some filled with promise and then heartbreak, Jennie Ramos comforted her son. Although he was medically sedated, she hugged and kissed him and talked to him.

"He did open up his eyes and when he did I would call him. Hey Danny, Zuko, and baby my son and I would reminisce about how he was as a child and tell him about his babies and about how much they loved him and how he was a good dad to them," said Jennie.

A collage of pictures that sat next to his hospital bed are filled with well wishes from friends and family. The 27 year old was a father of three and a family man who his mother describes as a six foot three gentle giant.

Jennie said, "He won't be able to come up from behind me and give me those big old hugs that he gives me and always tell me good night mom. Or text me late at night and saying how much he appreciated me. It was just always me and him. He was my world and now my world is gone."

The morning her only child passed away Ramos sat in the hallway and heard the code blue called over the intercom. She heard it before but this time it was for her son.

"I think at times that i wished he would have told me bye or I would have had to tell him bye but I think things would be even harder for me. Because I'm looking for closure now and it's a closure I'm never going to have," said Jennie.

DonDiego's cousin also got the H1N1 flu, likely from visiting him before anyone knew he had the contagious virus. But his cousin was treated immediately and he recovered just fine.

A memorial fund has been set up to help pay for funeral expenses.

Danny DonDiego Memorial Fund
EECU - Account # 11663060

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