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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

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Well I emailed every news channel here in St. Louis and even a couple talk shows. However I have had no replies yet. I'm sure these things take time. I also emailed around 5 people from the Post Dispatch. My mom had a good idea of creating just a generic letter about Lemierre's Syndrome and mailing it to all the Dr's we can. I created 250 business cards with information on Lemierre's Syndrome along with this website just to hand out to everyone we know. We let off 17 balloons Sat in honor of Justin. I attached notes to the Balloons saying:
These balloons are set off
in memory of Justin Rodgers.
Check out his website & pass it along
Knowledge is power!!!
We love you little brother!

We won't give up until someone will listen to us!


Ashley Buchanan said...

The balloon thing is the best idea i've ever heard! I just got one of the cards today! i will try my hardest to spread the website! i love you guys!!!

pam.allan said...

I work with Helen Rodgers in Mountain Home and thats how I became a little educated on Lemierre's Syndrome. Prior to that I had never heard of it. After reading your blog, I was appalled that the doctors didn't do more. Did they not consult other doctors from around the country? It is sad that Justin died so young but God can use that to help others and it sounds like you are starting to do that with this blog.


kathleen scroeter,23,illlinois said...

hi i am katy schroeter i am from illinois i battled this sister posted on here bout me thats how i learned bout u guys. i spent 5 and a half months in st.louis hospitals away frrom my 4 year old lil girl. and 2 lung surgeries later and two strokes . i am back home with my daughter and family and am finally walking.ive been home since feb and go rtho therapy to lesrn to walk. u can hardle tell i fought death three times besidess my left arm isnt completly better and i wear a brace on my left leg and kinda limp. bout i just wanted to share my story.with others.oh and im only 23 doctors said my age is what is helpin mew recover so fast. i got a blue ribbon tattooed on my neck in awareness of this disease and im pursuayin others to get one two for me.and the very few like me

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Justin's news article in the West Magazine

This was taken from

Rockwood student dies rapidly from little-known disease
By Diane Plattner

In April, Eureka High School student Justin Rodgers began to complain of a severe sore throat and was dead approximately one month later from an unfamiliar disease. Now, his mother hopes to spread awareness about the deadly disease.
Justin died in the early morning hours of May 12, the day after Mother’s Day, after losing a battle with Lemierre’s Syndrome, a serious bacteria that is not well-known and even doctors are prone to misdiagnose the disease. Unfortunately, Rodgers’ doctor was among that group after initially diagnosing him with strep throat on April 11, said Sheryl Rodgers, Justin’s mother.
“Justin had said, ‘Mom, this is the worst sore throat I’ve ever had in my life,’” Rodgers said.
She said that Justin’s doctor took no throat culture and gave her son medicine for strep throat. She said her son’s condition worsened over the next few days during which he had increased high fever, chest pain and a lump in his neck. On April 14, Rodgers took her son to St. Anthony’s Hospital, which transported him overnight to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital where he underwent extensive testing, including X-rays and blood work, Rodgers said.
Rodgers said that hospital officials diagnosed him with Lemierre’s Syndrome, a bacteria that can surface after mouth trauma. Last July, Justin was in a car accident that resulted in mouth injuries that required him to get major dental work, including a recent new tooth. In addition, Justin had suffered a broken nose just before the onset of his sore throat, his mother said.
“I wonder if all this woke up the bacteria, which was already living in the body,” Rodgers said.
The last time Rodgers saw him fully awake was a few days later, when hospital officials decided to place her son on a respirator and sedate him with drugs.
“He was out of it but still with us then,” Rodgers said. “He would frown when the doctors worked on him. So he had some responses.”
However, Justin’s lungs kept collapsing, prompting hospital doctors by April 25 to place him on an ECMO machine to help rest his lungs and heart. Doctors at that point also put him into an induced coma, Rodgers said.
“At that point there was no response from Justin,” Rodgers said. “Still, I talked to him and rubbed his sore spots to let him know we were there.”
By Mother’s Day, Justin was leaking too much blood, prompting doctors to decide to remove him from the ECMO, a move they said was risky if his lungs were not healed enough.
“Once they took him off the ECMO, Justin’s face was getting gray,” Rodgers said. “He was holding his own for a few hours, but then he starting going downhill.”
Justin died early the next morning following Mother’s Day with his immediate family, including three older siblings, by his side, Rodgers said.
“He was our baby,” Rodgers said. “I think the hospital tried to keep him going so he did not die on Mother’s Day.”
The tragedy is not the first for the Rodgers family. They also lost a 4-year-old child in a horseback riding accident and had a stillborn child many years ago, Rodgers said.
“I thought God could not possibly do this to us again,” Rodgers said. “I asked why again, why us. But there is no answer. Here we are walking on egg shells again.”
Rodgers said she was at least thankful that Justin’s funeral was so big that people were standing outside, a huge tribute to his life. She also hopes to honor his life with a campaign to help spread awareness about Lemierre’s Syndrome, which she said often hits people between the ages of 14 and 25. It is not spread by kissing but instead lives in the body, she said. Her goal is to make people, including doctors, more aware of its symptoms so they are not mistaken for strep throat.
“I do not want Justin to have died in vain,” Rodgers said. “This is one bad bacteria. It is very serious. People should not treat it lightly.”
To learn more about Lemierre’s Syndrome, visit the Rodgers’ family Web site at