Sepsis is Life Changing for All InvolvedPosted on by
Guest Author: Carl Flatley DDS MSD
Founder / Board Member of Sepsis Alliance
Pres. of the Erin Kay Flatley Memorial Foundation
“I believe sepsis is the #1 unmet medical need in the USA, as well as globally. Some research estimates that sepsis is the #3 cause of death in the US and the #1 cause of death in children under the age of five in the world. When sepsis is not quickly recognized and treated, it can lead to permanent disability, such as loss of limbs, and death. The numbers of those lost and disabled by sepsis are staggering and the emotional toll of lost loved ones’ family and friends is immeasurable.
I have experienced the unbearable emotional toll of sepsis first hand. I lost my daughter, Erin Flatley, to sepsis when she was only 23-years-old. The pain and anger of losing her is real and constant.
In 2007, I founded Sepsis Alliance, the largest sepsis consumer advocacy group in the country, to raise awareness of sepsis among everyone as a medical emergency so we can protect patients and their loved ones from the devastating effects of sepsis. I have voiced my concerns about sepsis to Congress, state legislators, and governmental agencies. We need everyone – patients, families, healthcare providers, governmental agencies, and advocacy groups – to join together to fight this condition.
In honor of my daughter, the Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award is being launched this year to recognize outstanding dedication, sacrifice and contribution to improving the care and lives of patients with sepsis. Erin was a passionate young woman who wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Her desire to give back to society inspired this award.
I’m proud that this year’s recipient is Audrey Leishman and the Begin Again Foundation, which provides financial support to families struggling from their loss or disability from sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), or toxic shock syndrome (TSS). The Foundation’s work and compassion is truly life-changing to those who have been affected by sepsis.
I wish I would have known when sepsis is quickly recognized, lives can be saved. Learn the signs and symptoms of sepsis and seek medical care for an infection that’s not getting better or if it’s getting worse. If you suspect sepsis, don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider, “Could it be sepsis?” It could save your life or your loved ones’ life.
– Erins’ dad
Carl J. Flatley, a retired endodontist, founded Sepsis Alliance in 2007 after losing his daughter Erin to sepsis, something he had never heard of. He is also a member on the Sepsis Alliance board of directors, chair of the Erin K Flatley Memorial Foundation, and is the creator of the “vitalswatch” app.