Thursday, December 14, 2017

Star Presentation pupil dies of mystery illness


conflicting tests: Christian Ramkairsingh

Mark Fraser

The death of star cricketer and ace pupil at Presentation College, San Fernando, has plunged the school into mourning and baffled his family.

Christian Ramkairsingh, a Sixth Form pupil, died at the Port of Spain General Hospital following a brief illness on Wednesday.

Ramkairsingh, 18, began showing signs of the dengue virus in mid-December but blood tests were conflicting and doctors were unable to properly diagnose the teenager, his mother Darlene Ramkairsingh said yesterday.

“He was healthy child. He was active in school cricket and very bright. He was working towards a scholarship,” she said.

Ramkairsingh said her son was treated at public and private health institutions from December 17 until his death. “He did numerous blood tests, some said positive for dengue, others were negative. Then he had a mass on his neck. He did a biopsy but they said it was not an abscess,” she said.

But what remains embedded in her mind, Ramkairsingh said, was a visit from a “strange man” at her son’s hospital bed. The mother of two said the stranger told her son that he was a victim of an evil deed.

“I didn’t think anything of it because of my belief in God. My belief is so strong that I didn’t want to break it. Now I can’t stop thinking of whether I should have allowed the man to continue. I don’t know what happened to my son,” she cried.

Ramkairsingh said her son was transferred to the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where he died on Wednesday. 

“Ten minutes before my son died the doctors told me it appears that he had Lupus. I don’t know what to think. I just hope I didn’t fail my child. I am thinking now that maybe I should have seen something and carried him to the doctor,” she said.

The family did not give permission for an autopsy to be performed on the teen.

His death certificate gave the cause of death as multi organ failure, connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus and asthma.

His funeral will be held this morning at his family’s home at Christian Village, Freeport.

Presentation College principal, Dexter Mitchell, described the pupil as a remarkable young man who was always respectful. He remembered Christian’s love for cricket and how he mobilised support for the school’s football team.

Mitchell said Christian pursued Management of Business, Economics and Accounts. “He was a valued cricketer on the championship team. His death has thrown the school into a sober mood. The boys were in tears. He was an energetic young man,” he said.

Mitchell said the school will host a memorial mass for Christian on Wednesday when former pupil, footballer Akeem Adams, will also be remembered. 

Adams, 22, was a Trinidad and Tobago defender who played for Hungary’s Ferencvaros who died after heart failure.