Bloomfield boy initially diagnosed with hantavirus dies
Fernando Hernandez, 9, died Friday in Cincinnati
FARMINGTON — A Bloomfield boy who initially was diagnosed with hantavirus earlier this year died last week when he was taken off life support after his condition deteriorated rapidly.
Fernando Hernandez, 9, died Friday when he was taken off his extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine after suffering a brain hemorrhage earlier in the day, Fernando's father George Hernandez said.
Fernando Hernandez was receiving treatment at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in Ohio when the brain hemorrhage left him brain dead.
The family's GoFundMe page to raise funds for Fernando Hernandez's funeral expenses stated they made a hard and painful decision to take him off life support.
"We really thought he was going to make it," George Hernandez said.
Hantaviruses are carried by some rodents, and produce a rare but deadly disease called hantavirus pulmonary syndrome.
There are no confirmed cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year, according to New Mexico Department of Health spokesman David Morgan. Hantavirus is a respiratory disease in humans transmitted by infected rodents.
Fernando Hernandez was diagnosed with hantavirus in late February after he was transported to Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado, according to his father.
The boy started to show flu-like symptoms around Jan. 28 and spent eight days at the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington before he was discharged.
He returned to the emergency room on his ninth birthday on Feb. 10 because he was struggling to breathe on his own, George Hernandez said. Later that day, Fernando Hernandez was transported to Children's Hospital Colorado.
There were two patients this year at the San Juan Regional Medical Center who had preliminary tests for hantavirus that were positive, according to spokeswoman Laura Werbner.
Werbner previously told The Daily Times that additional testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were negative for hantavirus.
This is the second death of a San Juan County resident who initially was diagnosed with hantavirus.
Aztec resident Kiley Lane, 27, died on April 18 at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, according to The Daily Times archives. Lane's mother, Julie Barron, said her daughter's preliminary results on Feb. 5 were positive for hantavirus.
George Hernandez and his family were preparing to leave Cincinnati today for Phoenix, where Fernando Hernandez's body was being flown. Plans for a funeral service are underway.
The funeral is scheduled to take place in Tolleson, Arizona, and George Hernandez said he would post an update on his Facebook page when the plans are finalized.
George Hernandez said he wished to thank the staff at the San Juan Regional Medical Center, Children's Hospital Colorado and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for taking care of his son.
Donations for Fernando Hernandez can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/fernando039s-funeral-expenses.
George Hernandez can be contacted at 303-506-4043 if people wish to make a donation or to offer their condolences.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.