Carl’s Story: Remembering Our Son During U.S. Antibiotic Awareness WeekPosted on by
Guest Author: Chris and Joyce Romm
Every year in the United States, at least 23,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant infections. Our son – Carl – was one of them.
Carl was our first child, and it’s hard to put into words just how special he was. He was ambitious and caring. Curious and adventurous. He could do anything he put his mind to.
Like all parents, we wanted to do everything we could to keep our children safe as they were growing up. With every flip off of the trampoline or jump into the river, we got a few more gray hairs. And when Carl decided to join the Army, we of course worried about what enlisting could mean. But, of the countless potential scenarios that kept us up nights over the course of Carl’s life, the dangers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria never even crossed our minds. Not once.
It was just two short months from when Carl first saw a doctor for his illness to the day he died from complications related to numerous antibiotic-resistant infections. He was just 27, and had been strong and healthy his whole life before the infections started.
It is still hard to believe that he’s gone. It’s still shocking that there was not an antibiotic, or any combination of antibiotics available, that could keep his infections at bay. It’s still incredibly difficult to talk about.
But, helping to raise awareness about antibiotic resistance and educating others about what’s at stake has helped us to cope, and to make some meaning out of our family’s tragedy.
This U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch the below video about Carl’s experience, and learn more about what you can do to support the fight against superbugs. The grave reality is that what happened to Carl could happen to any one of us, and our sincere hope is that by sharing his story, we might help save lives and spare other families – your sons and daughters – from what we’ve been through.
View the video: Parents Remember Army Vet’s Battle with Antibiotic Resistance
Chris and Joyce Romm live in Sparks, NV. As part of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Supermoms Against Superbugs initiative, they share their son Carl’s story to draw greater attention to the need for new antibiotics, increased research, and the proper use of these drugs in all settings.