Berlin Sepsis Summit


At the 1st Sepsis Summit in Berlin, Rory’s dad Ciaran said that if Sepsis were a criminal he or she would be on a WANTED list by every government in the world.  In Germany alone, Sepsis kills 144 people a day, over 50,000 people a year. Sepsis strikes worldwide, it knows no border and it is an equal opportunity killer.

Sepsis is the largest killer of children in the world.

Ciaran Staunton will give keynote address at the first Berlin Sepsis Summit

76D3C6514_berlin_opt-2Rory Staunton’s father, Ciaran, will give the keynote address about Rory’s Regulations  at the first Berlin Sepsis Summit on Sept. 9, 2013 at the invitation of Prof K. Reinhart, Chairman of the Global Sepsis Alliance.

The Berlin Sepsis Summit will see the launch of a national campaign in Germany to prevent Sepsis deaths which kill some 60,000 people annually and costs the German state about 5 billion Euros every year.

Ciaran will speak about Rory’s Regulations, a new series of Sepsis protocols which were signed into law by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo this year.

Rory’s Regulations were named in honor of Staunton’s 12-year-old son Rory who died tragically of Sepsis in a New York hospital on April 1, 2012.

Rory’s Regulations mandates New York State hospitals to pro-actively identify and treat sepsis before it turns fatal.  New York has become the first government in the world to mandate sepsis regulations.

Rory’s parents Ciaran and Orlaith  have campaigned  tirelessly since Rory’s death to try and prevent more families from suffering their devastating loss.

They have appeared on the Today Show, the  Dr Oz Show and Rory’s story has been featured in The New York Times, Irish Central, Irish America Magazine, and many other major publications.

Rory’s mother Orlaith has spoken directly with Vice President Joe Biden on the issue and Rory’s father, Ciaran has previously addressed other conferences in the U.S including the Diagnosis Errors in Medicine Conference at Johns Hopkins Hospital in November last year.

Sepsis, which can be treated if diagnosed in time, kills more Americans than Aids each year and costs the U.S. economy $16 billion annually.

Rory’s father Ciaran says the Rory Staunton Foundation is determined to raise worldwide awareness about Sepsis. “It is the biggest killer of children worldwide,” he says.

The Rory Staunton Foundation are proud members of the Global Sepsis Alliance and our aim is to spread Sepsis awareness and ensure that fewer lives are lost to this silent killer.

Remembering Seamus Heaney

heaneySeamus Heaney the Irish Nobel Laureate died this week, he was 74 years old.  He will be buried beside his little brother Christopher who died tragically when he was a little boy of four.

Christopher’s death inspired Seamus to write one of his most beautiful poems “Mid-Term Break” which tells the story of his return from boarding school as a young boy for his brothers’ wake.

For those of us who have tragically buried a loved one this poem speaks tenderly to the sense of loss created by a sudden death.  The feeling of being alone, the bewilderment, the emptiness and confusion that haunt those moments are beautifully captured.

Mid-Term Break  by Seamus Heaney

I sat all morning in the college sick bay

Counting bells knelling classes to a close.
At two o’clock our neighbors drove me home.

In the porch I met my father crying–
He had always taken funerals in his stride–
And Big Jim Evans saying it was a hard blow.

The baby cooed and laughed and rocked the pram
When I came in, and I was embarrassed
By old men standing up to shake my hand

And tell me they were “sorry for my trouble,”
Whispers informed strangers I was the eldest,
Away at school, as my mother held my hand

In hers and coughed out angry tearless sighs.
At ten o’clock the ambulance arrived
With the corpse, stanched and bandaged by the nurses.

Next morning I went up into the room. Snowdrops
And candles soothed the bedside; I saw him
For the first time in six weeks. Paler now,

Wearing a poppy bruise on his left temple,
He lay in the four foot box as in his cot.
No gaudy scars, the bumper knocked him clear.

A four foot box, a foot for every year.

If I had known about Sepsis, I would have looked for Sepsis…

I remember the afternoon of Friday, March 30, 2012, the Friday before Rory died. That was the day after he had been dismissed from the hospital ER room and dismissed by his pediatrician.

ChalkboardSeeing him still so sick, I told Rory that I needed to check him out for meningitis so I shone a light in his eyes; I got him to move his neck. He was so tired that he just let me do what I needed to do and turned back to sleep.

Then I told him I needed to check every part of his body in case there was a bite, which maybe someone had missed. Rory was 12 years old. Like most boys of 12, he was super body-conscious but he nodded yes and proceeded to let his mom check his body to ensure that some little creature hadn’t bitten him and made him sick. We had a good chuckle as we went along.

There was no mark on his body other than the cut he had received when he fell in school. The truth was Rory was already in septic shock, Rory had Sepsis. His dad and I had no idea.

Not one doctor, not one nurse had mentioned the word Sepsis to us … not one.

A recent poll shows that over 70 percent of Americans haven’t heard of Sepsis. This figure is unacceptable particularly when you consider how many Americans die from Sepsis.

September 13 is World Sepsis Day. Be sure to tell people about Sepsis, have them like our page on Facebook, read our website, and encourage them to become informed.

Knowledge is power. If I had known about Sepsis, I would have looked for Sepsis.

And so it is that life changes…


Rory with his sister Kathleen in the middle, cousin Alana and Irish actor Gabriel Byrne.

On Sunday night, July 21st, we closed O’Neill’s in Manhattan. Life as we knew it has changed, but we have many wonderful memories from our times there.

Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Sully Sullenberger, Bruce Springsteen, Gerry Adams, Enda Kenny. Gabriel Byrne, Fionnuala Flanagan, Daniel Day Lewis, Jerry Seinfeld, all came through our doors as well as many other strangers who became friends, and friends who became” family”. Some of our customers even met their future wives and husbands there.

We will not be far away though. We will still see everyone at Molly Blooms in Queens.

We always told our children to stand up for something they believed in. Rory and Kathleen were at the first Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform meeting in Queens. After many questions they wore their immigration reform t-shirts proudly and together we will all continue to look forward to immigration reform.

Most importantly, because of where life has brought us now, we will fight, with the help of others, to raise awareness and save lives from Sepsis, something we knew nothing about until it tragically killed our 12-year old-son Rory.

Rory and Kathleen have had wonderful moments in O’Neill’s. We brought them there within days of their birth to “show” them off.

Every Saturday after swimming at the YMCA they made their way to O’Neill’s with their cousin Alana. There, as years passed, they rose in the ranks to become self-made bartenders, perfecting the art of mixology (with juices and sodas). If we let ourselves listen, we can still hear their laughter.

First Communions, birthday parties, family and neighborhood events were all celebrated at O’Neill’s, it was a second home, full of treasured memories

For Ciaran, the time has come to move on. It is too difficult to remember these good times knowing that that one special face will no longer be there.

Life as we knew it is no more. Although 12 years remained on our lease, we now know 12 years can be a lifetime.


Rory and friends at O’Neill’s

A powerful short video on sepsis from World Sepsis Day.


Sepsis – Here Comes the Next Generation!

Last week we escaped from our new reality. Along with family from Ireland (who helped us laugh again after a really tough couple of weeks), we made a trip to Cape Cod, a place where we had never been before with Rory.J-1Visa

Besides the beautiful scenery and slow pace of life; what we found there were wonderful smart young people from all over the world.  These international students are working and living in the U.S. for the summer months, savoring the American culture and enjoying life as twenty-something year olds.

Sepsis is now part of our everyday thinking. It killed our son. While we were engaging these fun, intelligent  young adults about life, their studies and future, we discovered many of them were contemplating careers in the medical field.

These young people will have it in their power to quickly diagnose and treat sepsis.  They will have it in their power to knock this killer on its ass. They are our future.  Education will be crucial.  We need to ensure that these enthusiastic young adults receive the information they require about sepsis and learn how important early sepsis diagnosis is.

They will need this information regardless of whatever country they choose to work in. Sepsis strikes worldwide, it has no borders; it has no concern for race or social standing.  Sepsis kills.

Strong education of sepsis is more crucial now than ever in colleges and  in all training institutions as sepsis cases are increasing at an alarming rate.

Sepsis needs a fresh young enemy – our young student population can be just that.

Kathleen finally made it to a One Direction Concert Rory!

Kathleen and Alana at One DirectionLast Friday night was like a dream for your little sister. She left the house smiling from ear to ear but she came home totally in a dreamlike state after going to a One Direction concert with Alana. Rory, you know how much she loves One Direction and seeing them live totally left her in a trance.

I remembered when you were little and we were in Ireland I brought the two of you to a show in Dublin, Kathleen must have been 4 so that would have made you 6. It was a children’s production and she loved the little boy who played the lead and sang his little heart out. She kept looking at his face in the program as we drove home. After a while I noticed you stopped smiling back at her. When we got home the program “disappeared” and I later found it in your room. I laugh now thinking how you were a little jealous that someone else was going to steal her heart.

The dream would have been complete for her on Friday night if you had been there.

The heart in your name is there because she always wrote your name that way. You always had her heart.




Every red head boy I see reminds me of Rory

The child on West 30th between Fifth and Madison
Standing with his parents was eerily familiar
A kind, kind face and red hair, tousled
I stared and stared again
I’m sure his parents
Thought me strange
They were visiting New York and
A stranger was staring at their son
Outside their hotel.

The boy in the swimming pool last summer
who was him from behind, definitely
Same tall stature, white skin, red head
And in the water too, he looked so like him
Then he turned around.

Sad moments when I glimpse him
And wonder what might have been
No, what should have been.

Death gathered up our Rory and swept him away
But I see him every day.

– Niall O’Dowd

Wash your Hands! Stop Sepsis!


Don’t we tell our children to wash their hands all the time…

It now seems some doctors and nurses have to be told to do this according to the New York Times. We know that infections can be passed along from individual to individual.  It’s sad to think that hospitals now have to put incentives in place to ensure that their staff do this..

This is another  area of common sense that we  took for granted was happening in hospitals…people die from infection…Sepsis is an overwhelming response by the immune system to infection…

Stop Sepsis – Wash Your Hands – Save Lives