'It's unreal': Local family left reeling after toddler dies from bacterial meningitis

Courtesy Cahn family

A 22-month-old boy fell ill with what his family thought was the flu earlier this week. Now, they're in the midst of making funeral arrangements.

Dominic Ramirez's family rushed him to a doctor Monday night when he developed flu-like symptoms. His grandmother, Christina Rahn, said she was told he had a cold and needed some rest.

Less than 24 hours later, everything changed. His family immediately took him to Randall Children's Hospital in Portland.

“He was seizing the whole time from home to there, and he never came out of it,” Christina Rahn said.

Once at the hospital, Dominic's heart stopped. Doctors performed CPR, and put the boy on life-support.

It wasn't until then that his family learned Dominic had bacterial meningitis -- not the flu or common cold as they initially thought.

“It’s just unreal. It feels like a horrible dream I want to wake up from. Nobody deserves to go through this,” Alexandra Rahn, Dominic's aunt, said.

For the next three days, his family stayed by Dominic's side, praying he would pull through.

Friday afternoon, they found out the once-playful, full-of-life boy was declared brain dead.

“A loss of a child that brought so much joy to us is going to be devastating, it's destroying us,” Christina Rahn said.

The entire family now wants every parent and care-giver to learn from their experience.

“Keep an eye on your babies, pay attention to everything that's going on, even if you think it’s just a flu. You never know and don't take no for an answer,” Alexandra Rahn said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with medical bills and the unexpected funeral.

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