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Filipino teen dies from jellyfish sting in Queensland

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Jason Cordi
Jason Cordi
Editor-in-Chief, The Philippine Times

Mark Angelo Ligmayo, 14, was stung by a box jellyfish while in waist-high water at Eimeo beach near Mackay in Queensland on Saturday afternoon.

Mark’s father Nick Guinumtad who witnessed the incident ran onto the beach after seeing that his son was covered in 2 meters of box jellyfish tentacles. Mark had been in the water for 10 minutes and surf lifesavers eventually pulled him out and removed the tentacles with vinegar.

Paramedics attended the scene and were administering CPR for 40 minutes. He died an hour later in Mackay Base hospital.

“It’s hard, to see your son trying to overcome it, it’s hard, to see your son dying in front of you,” Nick told Queensland’s Courier Mail.

According to the Guardian, Mark moved to Australia three months ago with his mother and sister. Nick Guinumtad has lived in Mackay for several years. Mark had only started attending Mackay State High School this month.

Mark’s mother Agnes shares that he was excited going to school at Mackay State High School and was planning eventually joining the army.

It has been a difficult time for Nick and Agnes Guinumtad, and they have been seeking support to bring their son to the place he spent most of his life. Agnes says it will give a chance for his grandmother to see Mark’s face one last time.

jellyfish
The deadly Box Jellyfish is found off the coast in parts of Australia. They are found in the waters north of Bundaberg, Queensland, up around the coast of the Northern Territory and down to Exmouth in Western Australia.
Mark Angelo Ligmayo
Mark’s family
Mark Angelo Ligmayo
Mark Angelo Ligmayo had only been living in Australia for three months.

GoFundMe set up to bring Mark home

A fundraiser was set up to raise funds to cover the costs of transferring Mark’s body to the Philippines. Ms. Girlie Ann Bawaan Ramos set up the GoFundMe which raised $15,781.82 within 28 hours. The family requires further support to cover other costs, including their return travel to the Philippines.

Hi there, my name is Girlie. I represent BIMAAK qld association here in Queensland. An asociation of Cordillerans. Cordillera is a region in the northern part of the Phillipines. Our core values include Transparency, Teamwork, Optimism, Respect, Integrity and Inclusiveness. One of our objectives is to offer a helping hand to members of our association in times of need. It also extends help and support to any non members who uphold the Cordilleran culture and traditions. 

On the 26th of February, a Cordilleran family lost their 14 year old son-Mark Angelo Ligmayo after being stung by a box jellyfish in Mackay, Queensland Australia. Mark is the son of Agnes Guinumtad and Nick Guinumtad. Agnes is from Ifugao and Nick is from Bauko and Ifugao. The event which was supposed to be a family day at the beach turned into a tragedy in just under 10 minutes. Mark was swimming in the shallow waters with other people not too far from his family when he started screaming for help. It was then noticed both of his legs were wrapped by jellyfish tentacles. Help from lifeguards and the paramedics were immediately utilized however the young boys body succumbed to the venom an hour after hospital admission. 

Mark Angelo’s remains are still in autopsy and the family is planning to send their son back home to the Philippines in the next few days. They would like to bury their son where he grew up in the last 14 years. Mark Angelo, his sister and mom arrived in Australia to join their step father Nick in Mackay Queensland last December of 2021. The cost of sending his body home to the Philippines ranges from 12000-17000 AUD. I, the family of Mark and all the Cordillerans here in Queensland are now asking for your help in raising the amount of 15,000 AUD to help Mark go home to the Philippines. Any amount is a step closer to sending him home. Thank you so much for all your help. Your kindness and contribution is very much appreciated. 

Sincerely, Girlie Anne Bawaan Ramos

While the target has been reached, support is still requested by the family through Ms. Ramos:

“Due to the enormous request from the community, we are reactivating this fundraising for the Guinumtad Family in Mackay, Queensland. We have raised the net amount of $15781.82 AUD for the family however that barely covers Mark Angelo’s repatriation to Manila. There is now a request to reactivate the fundraiser to include other expenses of the family such as their plane tickets going home to the Philippines, funeral expense in the Philippines, counselling and time off work to grieve for both parents and their daughter Nicole. I am now again asking for further help from all of you to continue to promote this fundraising by clicking that share button. Thank you so much.”

For more details, visit the GoFundMe page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-guinumtad-family-bring-their-son-home

Jason Cordi
Jason Cordi
Editor-in-Chief, The Philippine Times

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