It’s difficult to explain in a small package what sepsis is, I can find a definition but it’s impossible to describe the devastation that comes with it. When someone you love dies from sepsis, it’s often with the speed of lightning and when someone survives, it’s with devastating effects including loss of limbs.
Four years ago when Rory died, like other sepsis victims, we thought it was something rare that attacked him. We looked for answers and couldn’t find them. The Federal Government, represented by the CDC had no information,there was nowhere to go for support.
Today, because of our Foundation we have made steady progress. The CDC has now declared sepsis “a national emergency”, and the National Family Council on Sepsis exists to advocate, support and educate. We stand strong with Ann Ceschin, mom of Katie, with Liz and Tony Galbo, parents of Gabby, with Chris Aiello, dad to Emily, Vanessa, daughter to Wes and with the other families whose loved ones have died; together we are determined to remember.
Yesterday I was reminded why we go on; two messages, one from a mom, who was on her way to pick up her 17 year old daughters’ autopsy results revealing the cause of death to be sepsis, and another, a message from a young girl whose mom, she described as her best friend, had died from sepsis. Neither family had heard of sepsis or knew the signs.
So, I know we have more work to do because families are still being wiped out. When I got the honor of Women of Worth I was hesitant, because sepsis is only a tiny little bit about me, I don’t believe I need an award for what I have done, I am devastated, in fact during the photo shoot for L’Oréal, after “smiling” for hours I broke down and sobbed.
But you know what, good has come from this campaign-the circle of support has grown. I can’t give sepsis a headline or a short description but I can give it a name… “killer”. We are sick of hearing and retelling messages of death, but it’s our life, this is our cause, we would love to have heard four words before Rory got sick: “Could this be sepsis?” We didn’t know and we want to change that for others.
Because we still have so much work to do to educate about sepsis, I am asking you to continue to support our campaign for sepsis awareness, please vote in the the L’Oréal Women of Worth Campaign, we are half way through the voting period!
Please go to: and vote today and everyday through October 28th. Thank you.
This is one of my most favorite photographs of Rory – I just loved that little red hat. His hat was red and his sister Kathleen’s hat was pink. I can’t tell how many times I kissed his cheek in that little red hat.
When Rory and Kathleen got older of course we had to trade in the hats for something “older”. I remember folding Rory’s hat to put it away in his memory box. I remember thinking how lovely it would be for him to have his little red hat to show to his own children in years to come…
Since he died I have not opened his memory box, I have not looked at his little red hat. There are some things I have faced but this is not one of them. Sepsis, lack of knowledge of sepsis, and poor medicine killed my son. I know in my heart and soul that if I had known about sepsis Rory would be alive today.
I am embracing the L’Oréal Women of Worth campaign and competition to become the National Honoree because it will bring more awareness to sepsis. Everyone needs to know about this awful killer that can take your children, your loved ones, in a matter of hours or days. Sepsis took my little boy away – let’s get the word out there. Please vote for me each day until October 28th so we can use this platform to change the world. goo.gl/myTmAo
Last week, the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention was invited to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to address the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organization’s (SDAHO) 90th Annual Convention. The SDAHO was celebrating “90 years of caring, advocacy and impact” and brought together more than 900 healthcare professionals from across the Great Plains region to share best practices, new innovations and emerging trends in improving patient care.
Ciaran shared his personal experience with sepsis and the work that the Rory Staunton Foundation does to improve the ability of hospitals to diagnose and treat the condition and to educate the public about its dangers and signs. During his visit he held several constructive meetings to advance the adoption of mandatory sepsis protocols in South Dakota. We hope that the Mount Rushmore State will soon join Illinois and New York in becoming #SepsisSafe!
Beginning Tuesday, September 20th the Rory Staunton Foundation is releasing four new Public Service Announcements to spread awareness of sepsis and inform the public of the signs of sepsis.
The first PSA, released September 20th, is called Katie – A Sepsis PSA from the Rory Staunton Foundation
The second PSA, released September 21st, is called Rory – A Sepsis PSA from the Rory Staunton Foundation
The third PSA, released September 22nd, is called Emily – A Sepsis PSA from the Rory Staunton Foundation
Today we are launching the first of four Public Service Announcements about sepsis. We will share a video each day, our hope and the hope of each family featured is that we can save lives.
Katie would have been married two years today. She was 26 years old when she died from undiagnosed and untreated sepsis. When she died she had been married for just three months. Katie and her family thought she had the flu and sought medical treatment, noone at the hospital checked for sepsis. Like us, her family had never heard of sepsis and didn’t know the signs. Katie’s mom Ann shares Katie’s story hoping to help others and to save them from the deep grief and indescribable pain they are feeling. Katie did not receive the care necessary to save her life, noone checked for sepsis, her family did not know the signs.
Please watch this PSA and share on Facebook and urge your friends in turn to share.
We will show a new PSA every day this week-each will tell the story of a beautiful life taken by sepsis; each death is a preventable death. The PSA’s will help you know the signs of sepsis.
Please watch, share and Think Katie…
Last Friday, September 2, the Rory Staunton Foundation and members of the National Family Council on Sepsis met with Massachusetts Health Commissioner, Monica Bharel, and her staff to discuss the process of implementing mandatory sepsis protocols in every hospital in Massachusetts.
We thank the Commissioner for her attention to this issue and to the members of Family Council on Sepsis in Massachusetts including Rebecca Taylor, Diana Rogier, Catherine King, Oscar King and Fiona McGarry who shared their concern and stories of heartbreak and lives lost needlessly to sepsis.
As ever, making changes in sepsis policy is a grassroots effort, driven by the voices of those who care about this issue in a personal way. We ask now that our friends and supporters in Massachusetts take a few moments to send a strong message to Commissioner Bharel and let her know that commonsense sepsis protocols are a priority for the families of Massachusetts.
Visit our Take Action page and send the letter found there to Commissioner Bharel in MA: https://rorystauntonfoundationforsepsis.org/take_action/.
Thank you for your advocacy and if you have friends or family in Massachusetts please share!
September is Sepsis Awareness Month and the Rory Staunton Foundation will be busy! Check out some highlights from our calendar:
Ciaran Staunton takes part in the 1st World Sepsis Congress. More than 6,500 people from across the globe have registered to take part in this online event. Other speakers include national health ministers, high-level representatives from the UN and WHO and leading healthcare experts.
The Rory Staunton Foundation’s Third National Forum on Sepsis – New York: New Ideas on Sepsis. We welcome healthcare professionals, policy experts, educators and patient advocates for a discussion of New York’s work addressing sepsis through education in schools, public awareness, caregiver education and training and hospital protocols. In addition, the CDC will present its new sepsis initiatives.
World Sepsis Day! Look out for new resources and campaigns from the Rory Staunton Foundation.
Ciaran Staunton will address a gathering of more than 800 representatives from hospitals, nursing homes and home and healthcare clinics at the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations Annual Conference.
How hard it is to believe that the Rory Staunton Foundation’s Third National Forum on Sepsis is taking place on September 12th, 2016. Hard to believe because we are still fighting for sepsis to attain the stature it deserves among public and medical consciousness. It has been an uphill fight for us here at the Foundation, particularly dealing with some government agencies but we are happy to say that we have won many battles and saved many lives along the way.
Sepsis is killing over 250,000 Americans every year and many more who survive are dealing with horrendous medical conditions as a result of sepsis. Families are being torn apart because of sepsis and because of this we will never be silent. Our own lives and those of our fellow travelers at the National Family Council on Sepsis are changed forever, and it need not be this way, septic shock is preventable and we are not waiting for a cure-early diagnosis and treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics and iv fluids will and does save lives. But first we must think sepsis.
We are proud to be celebrating the work of New York State at this year’s Forum. New York State’s Department of Health instituted Rory’s Regulations in response to Rory’s death and in doing so we have saved thousands of lives. Hospitals throughout New York State have introduced sepsis protocols and our Homecare Agencies has begun educating their workers, teachers are educating about sepsis in schools. New York State is the template for other states to follow and just like Rory’s Regulations and the Parents Bill of Rights is saving thousands of lives here in New York it is also inspiring National Family Council Members to do similar work in their loved ones names in other states.
Click here for more information about the Third National Forum on Sepsis.
The following press release is our response to the newly-released sepsis guidelines, released in Britain, which emphasize the critical importance of early diagnosis of by clinicians :
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (PRWEB) JULY 14, 2016
“In a landmark action, Britain’s health care watchdog, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), has issued a new guideline that instructs all health professionals to treat patients who show signs of sepsis with the same urgency as those with suspected heart attacks.
For the millions of American families whose loved ones have died needlessly from sepsis as a result of fatal delays in sepsis diagnosis and treatment, this guideline is a welcome development guaranteed to save many thousands of lives in Britain, where sepsis is responsible for 44,000 deaths each year. It is also a reminder of the inadequacies of the response of the U.S. government and healthcare system to sepsis, which must be classified as a full-blown public health crisis: In the United States, sepsis is responsible for between 250,000 and 500,000 deaths each year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On behalf of our own family, which has endured the anguish of losing a child to a death that was entirely preventable, and the families of the National Family Council on Sepsis, we issue a direct appeal to Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Mathews-Burwell, and CDC Director, Dr. Tom Frieden, to endorse similar guidelines to protect Americans from this devastating condition. We hope that Britain’s actions will inspire our government to address sepsis with the urgency it so clearly deserves and enact the systemic, nationwide change that will save thousands of American lives.”
The Stauntons are the co-founders of the Rory Staunton Foundation, a leading sepsis advocacy organization. (www.RoryStauntonFoundationForSepsis.org)
About the Guidelines
The NICE guideline instructs clinicians so start asking the basic question, “Could this be sepsis?” in any situation where an infection may be present as a first step in diagnosis and treatment. Rapid identification and treatment of sepsis is critical to avoiding fatalities and devastating disabilities, including amputations and cognitive damage. Sepsis is the body’s overreaction to any type of infection, which can lead to tissue and organ failure and, ultimately, death. Sepsis can affect anyone at any time, with even minor injuries resulting a catastrophic outcome. Such was the case with 12-year-old Rory Staunton, who died after grazing his arm playing basketball.
The NICE guideline provides clinicians with the signs and symptoms that indicate sepsis and its severity and describe the diagnostic tests and monitoring procedures required to diagnose and treat the patient. If identified as high risk, the guideline instructs that the patient be rushed to hospital by and ambulance and immediately seen by senior doctor or nurse.
NICE (www.nice.org.uk) is an executive non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom’s Department of Health. It is charged with producing guidelines, based on evaluations of efficacy and cost-effectiveness, for clinical practice, the use of health technologies within the NHS, guidance for public sector workers on health promotion and ill-health avoidance and social care services and users.
About the Rory Staunton Foundation
The Rory Staunton Foundation was established by Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton following the preventable death of their 12 year-old son, Rory, from sepsis in 2012. The Foundation is dedicated to improving the recognition and treatment of sepsis through public education and improved hospital protocols. Sepsis is the leading cause of death for infants and children worldwide. http://www.RoryStauntonFoundationForSepsis.org