A guy capable of speaking six languages, including Russian and Japanese , learning them at home - "all my youth was getting up with a hangover and my father with the tapes at home," says his daughter Rebekah.
A pioneer of popular races in Spain, who in the 70s wore shoes to make pineapple with other crazy people like him, 'runners' in the 'wrong' century. A guy, Iberia flight attendant for 30 years, with such a gift of people that he was able to meet a Japanese tourist at Puerta del Sol, "and take him to Cuenca to his garden to teach him how to use the hoe . "
A father so devoted to his only daughter, afflicted with multiple sclerosis , that from there to where she traveled she brought medications and solutions - "she spent a year bringing me a medication from Israel that was not yet in Spain and from Cuba brought me a remedy from there, scorpion venom "- in addition to making life easier for him now, every time the disease squeezes and Rebecca, 45, can't get out of bed to pick up the kids from school.
This was the life, completely normal but completely extraordinary, like all of them on the other hand, of Juan Manuel Ruiz Martín . A life well lived, which ended in a deaf, dumb, anonymous, lonely, undeserved death.
After two weeks with symptoms of coronavirus and dozens of calls to 112, a doctor from the health center finally came to his house, in the Madrid neighborhood of Prosperidad . Although he had 91% oxygen saturation in his blood and had days with more than 39 degrees Celsius of fever, the doctor barely prescribed two things: paracetamol and quarantine at home.
"We will call him in three days to follow up," they say that they told him both his daughter and her medical history, which EL MUNDO has had access to. Two days later, Juan Manuel died alone, in his bed at home , of a coronavirus that showed several of his faces, but "it didn't matter, because neither 112 nor the doctors did anything," says Rebeca.
To make matters worse, she could not even approach her father in the last few days, more than by phone, due to her sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Her father, a fundamental support in her life, especially in the worst moments, he left without even being able to say goodbye. "Don't call me on my cell phone so much, please, it exhausts me," says Rebeca, who told her in her last days . Juan Manuel thought that, as in his marathons, he was going to be able to do anything. He died with the phone at his side, on the nightstand.
Of the victims of the Covid-19 his death has been widely recounted, but not so much his life. Most of them old people, the most active course of their life seems distant. But it was as vivid and real as anyone's . They were not always elderly.
Learning English on a chicken farm
Juan Manuel, born in Madrid on September 25, 1949, decided early on that Franco's Spain was too small for him. "He was crazy about traveling, he always knew what he wanted to do," says Rebeca. As soon as he was old he went to England, near London, to learn English. It was there that he forged, says his daughter, another of his ways of looking. "He was working on a chicken farm. He never ate chicken again . "
He worked at the Wagons-Lits travel agency, but he wanted more: "He obtained the title of pilot of a commercial airplane, but to approve it in Spain they asked him for a fortune of the time, and he did not want his parents to pay him. They were humble people. My grandfather was a maitre d 'at El Bodegón, a well-known restaurant in Madrid, and my grandmother worked at Telefónica . And he had his support, but everything he did, he did alone. "
She only learned to defend herself, her daughter says, in "English, French, Italian, Russian and Japanese." Iberia was her home for decades, and her daughter her weakness ... Even more so when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, in 2001, at the age of 25 . "There was only one medicine in Spain, but it seemed not entirely safe, interferon. Well, he moved everything to look for others thanks to his contacts in Iberia, and for a year they brought me from Israel, thanks to the embassy, another lot safer, until it was marketed here. "
Juan Manuel, after the departure of his wife to Cuenca to take care of a family business, kept searching the world for remedies for his daughter's illness. " From Cuba, he came to me with a plastic Coca-Cola bottle with a liquid inside. It was scorpion poison , it had been given to him by a nun who had sclerosis, and who was dealing with it. I never took it, imagine," he laughs. Rebecca, wait a minute.
With this vitality Juan Manuel faced a good old age - "he kept running every day, he boxed in an acquaintance's gym, he had friends everywhere" - when on March 12, two days before the state of alarm was established, the dance already known: a little fever, cough, headache . "The fever was rising and days later he was 39 stable, but since he was a strong guy he said it was the flu, that with acetaminophen and hydration he would get over it."
"Do you want to take him to a hospital and get him infected?"
On March 19 his daughter registered him on the website of the Community of Madrid to monitor possible cases of coronavirus. A day later, "due to the fact that he had not been called, I contacted the Summa [the Madrid emergency medical service] and they told me that they were not symptoms of coronavirus, although they clearly were . : 'What do you want, take him to a hospital and really get it?' "
Rebeca sent her husband to her father's house with some food, medicine, masks and an oxygen saturator , the latter being key: during the worst moments of the Covid-19, difficulty in breathing was one of the central symptoms to identify the virus, and oxygen saturation its best thermometer.
"That is why we know that they had to have operated in another way," says the woman, who has reported the facts to the Prosecutor's Office, with the help of the Association of the Patient Advocate. According to the medical history of the last days in the life of Juan Manuel Ruiz Martín, on March 23 he had 94% saturation and a day later 91%, a figure already low enough to be transferred to a hospital center .
That same March 24, a doctor from the health center visited him at his home. "She took the saturation, which was 91% according to her, the same as in our saturator, but she told her not to do anything, not to go to any hospital, to stay home and take paracetamol and hydrate herself. .. I understand that at that time perhaps they did not know exactly what they were facing, but my father should have been taken to a hospital, it was crystal clear. "
On March 23, when Rebeca sent her husband to see her father with a load of medicine and some meatballs, Juan Manuel ate the meatballs "and they suited him well . " Then he threw up, "and it was the last thing he ate."
On the 24th, when the doctor went to see him, she established a telephone follow-up every three days. Not even 48 hours later, Juan Manuel Martín Ruiz had died.
In accordance with the criteria of The Trust ProjectKnow more
Justice Two months of an exorbitant state of alarm
PoliticsThe Covid-19 sharpens the autonomous borders of Spain
CoronavirusMálaga and Granada will be 14 days in phase 1 and the PP sees it as "another offense" from Pedro Sánchez to Andalusia