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Friday, August 15, 2008

New York Times

We have just found out it will be the Sept 14th issue of the New York Times our story will be in. There will be an article on Justin and his Lemierre's Battle. The Author's name is Lisa Sanders and it looks like she has been writing about Diagnoses for at least 7 + years. I do not think they will name Justin as the patient but the important thing is millions of readers will now be more informed on Lemierre's!!!!

I received a packet of info from the State's Attorney General Office on starting a Nonprofit Organization and I have printed out a bunch of info from the Internet too. So my family and I will get together this weekend and start brain storming. First thing first we need to come up with a name. If anyone has any ideas you can email me. I like having Lemierre's in the name so people know what we are fighting but then again I would love to have Justin's name in there too because he is the reason we are fighting SOOO hard! We have lots of work cut out for us but it will be totally worth it!!! I have looked and looked and have not found anyone trying to bring awareness to this disease through a nonprofit. So that is just what we are going to do. We will have fundraisers and all sorts of things going on to promote the awareness of this disease that hurts many many people and families. I don't want to just target it hurting teens because I have heard of 30 - 40 year olds getting it as well. Look at what Dr. Robert Centor wrote on his website this morning! "Finally we had an epidemiologic study which defined the extent of this disease. I have extrapolated the Danish data to the United States. Assuming the same incidence, I estimate that we have approximately 1000 patients with Lemierre’s yearly and 100 deaths. I would put the confidence range of these estimates at 50% greater or less than this estimate." So everyone sitting back thinking this won't happen to me or my kids will not be effected from this or Dr.'s thinking "nah that's not what my patient has" is not going to fly anymore. This thing is getting bigger and bigger and more and more people are being effected as the months go by. Just a few years ago they were saying 120 cases in 100 years now it is 1,000 in 1 year!! We need to start getting scared and making sure if it does happen we (including our Dr.'s) are well educated and it is take care of right away! That's why I am going to put my heart and soul into these awareness efforts!
If you have never been on Dr. Centor's blog site you should check it out!

Thank you again and go get the NY Times Sept 14th!


Cassie24 said...

My name is Cassie. I live in MN in a small town near the Mayo Clinic. I was diagnosed this past March with Lemierre's syndome and it almost took my life like it did your brothers. I am very sorry for your loss! anyways i would love to help in anyways i can if you start up a non profit organization!!! I too want to get the word out: if you could email me updates or if you want to hear my story its thank you!

poertner said...

i grew up with justin and since ive known him we were good friends. he was always in a good mood with a grin on his face.
me and justin did not hang out as much as we used to when we were little, but we always made it a point to hang out when we got the chance. One day we'll have the chance to hang out again but till then he will live in all of us even though we cant talk or interact with him, he is here in our mind and our hearts

miss you j-rod
your friend blake Poertner

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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