PHOENIX, AZ — It was supposed to be just three friends, celebrating the end of school by country hopping in Europe.
But eight days in, Raymond Reed was fighting an ear infection and told the other two to go on without him.
He was staying in their Munich hotel for the night. "When we got back, his eye was swelling up and he said he was in more pain, so we made him go to the hospital," said his friend, Ethan Briggs.
The diagnosis Briggs said, was bacterial meningitis stemming from the ear infection. They believe his eardrum ruptured on the flight. Doctors performed surgery right away.
"The doctor said if he had slept through the night, a few more hours, he could've died. There's a good chance - it's very lethal," said Briggs.
"What most likely happened with this kid is the infection went backward into the mastoid area," said Dr. Thomas Bostwick from Maricopa Integrated Health System.
He says the mastoid is a direct path into the brain, and if it gets infected, and is not taken care of quickly, it can go into the brain and cause meningitis.
Briggs said Monday was first the time Reed was able to get up and walk since he was hospitalized Saturday.
The 19-year-old's parents flew to Germany from Phoenix to be with their son while he recovers. This was certainly not the trip the trio expected.
"We were just glad we were there to help him," said Briggs.
There is a crowdfunding page set up to help the Reed family with medical expenses. If you would like to help,
you can donate here.