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Monday, June 23, 2008

3 More Stories

This is really frustrating to me. This disease is obviously not as rare as researchers think anymore. I know I have said this a million times and I will say it a million more until the right person listens to me! I have had 3 cases emailed to me over the weekend!!! They all left comments on the other posts so check it out. Since I began this site 1 week after Justin passed (4 weeks ago) I have had close to 20 stories emailed to me of Lemierre's Syndrome. 20 that all happened in the last 3 years. So WHY are researchers saying 120 cases in 100 years!!! I am happy to hear that 90% of the cases I have heard about the patients have lived but it breaks my heart that my little brother didn't. I don't understand why him and this other teenager didn't make it? What made their cases so different. I've heard people say "the doctors have to catch it in time". I really believe the Dr's caught it in time in Justin's case. Or so I thought. All the other cases sound just like Justin's. One case I read about the young man had symptoms for a month, then finally they figured out what he had. I don't get it, a month and he still came out OK. This just goes to show how strange and unpredictable this disease is. I think one of the MAIN problems with diagnosing this disease is the time it takes to diagnose it. From what I have heard they have to let the bacteria grow in a dish type thing then slowly add antibiotics to it to see how it reacts. And I believe this all takes around 3 - 4 days.. Again I'm not a medical expert by any means so I could be wrong, but this is becoming less RARE there has to be a blood test that can be done or something to that nature to diagnose this horrible disease faster. I think the awareness we are doing here is working but it is so hard to hear of all these cases and still researchers say its rare. How many teenagers or young adults does this disease have to hurt or take from us before the big Doctors and researchers take the word RARE away from the description of Lemierre's Syndrome. I really do believe this one little 4 letter word "RARE" is hurting our awareness efforts. When a Doctor or nurse hears the word RARE they most likely think to them self "well if it is rare then this person most likely doesn't have it". I COULD BE WRONG but deep in my heart I don't think I am. I have now stopped myself from saying the word rare when explaining Lemierre's Syndrome. I consider winning the lottery rare but not a disease that is really harmful to our sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, friends, cousins, or enemies. This is no longer a RARE disease in my vocabulary or on this website.
Thanks for listening!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Please, pay attention to this paper

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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