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Friday, June 20, 2008


I added a stat counter to our page down below the BIO I added for Justin. Its really neat, It tells us how many loads our page gets everyday. It also tells us out of those page loads who is re-occurring that day and who is new. Check it out I think between yesterday and just this morning we have had 83 page loads!
Today is Chrissy's Birthday!!! Happy 22nd Birthday Chrissy! June is a month full of Birthdays! Mine was the 5th , Chrissy's is today and my dad's is Tues the 24th. And Father's day was last weekend. This has been a hard month to get through but we can do it! It really brings comfort to me and the rest of my family when people tell us how they are going to tell their Doctors and pass along this website to everyone they know!
I have had a few people tell me how scary this disease sounds. It is scary and people should be scared of it, but if we can demand to doctors that our children be tested through blood instead of a swap in the throat we may just be able to save lives. I'm not sure if that is what it is going to take or not. All I know is I want everyone to know the name Lemierre and know that it hurts and kills young healthy (or not healthy) adults and teenagers! I was so upset when I went to the Dr myself and asked her if she had heard of Lemierre and she said no! But then I have heard lots and lots of Doctors and Nurses have never heard of it. I want to change that, I want them to know what it is and what it looks like and if they ever find a patient with it to send them straight to the hospital! Most cases I read about the patient is in and out of the ER or Doctors office at least 5 - 15 times before they figure out what it is they really have! To me that is just insane! When they couldn't figure out what Justin had I was getting so mad and aggravated! He had a temp of 103 - 105 for over a week before they figured out what it was! I kept thinking this is 2008 they should be able to figure out what a person has faster then this. But this bacteria is so sneaky and from what I've heard can grow with out oxygen. I don't know much about medical things at all but from what I read this is a really hard disease to diagnose. Please, please urge your doctor to learn more about this disease!

1 comment:

leslie said...


Although you do not know me I want to let you know that I am doing my part in passing on information about this. My daughter's went to school with Justin, the oldest one graduated this year and the day of graduation I had to take her to the doctor because she had been complaining about a sore throat, she had fever and her glands (not tonsils) were really swollen. The first thing I thought about was Justin, and made sure to bring this up to her pediatrician. She has heard of Lemierre's but had not heard of Justin's story. Anyway, they did a throat culture which came back negative and told me to bring her back in a few days if she was not feeling better. Since it was not strep, she wasn't given antibiotics. But we thought there was a possibility that it could be mono. Thank goodness, she started feeling better without futher medical attention.

I want you to know that I am very sorry about your family's loss. It's tragic and heartbreaking, and you all have been in my prayers.

My boyfriends cousin is a peditrician so I will be sure to tell her the next time I see her about this story, Im curious to know if she is aware of it as well. We live in Baton Rouge, La...My daughters live in Eureka with their just know that I feel the need to make sure that our area is aware of this as well.

Leslie Kyle

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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