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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

more and more cases

I have had 3 more cases emailed to me this week!! AND did you hear!!?!!? One of Dr Phil's young interns had strep throat and then passed away 1 week later. Kinda of interesting huh! Well I emailed the show 3 times letting them know about Justin and our website and that I heard of the intern that passed and thought maybe he had Lemierre's, but no word back. Justin from ID his mother said they had 5 cases of Lemierre's pop up in the last 6 months!!! They did a news paper interview and gave them our website info for people to go to to learn more about Lemierre's!!! If you get a chance to do any interviews or talk with any people that can get our info out as well please do so. I have soo many ideas running through my head on ways to bring about awareness! I would love to just start contacting all the major city's news papers and talk to them all about doing an article.. Don't forget the New York Times Magazine comes out Sept 14th!!! Also Justin's birthday is Sept 28th in 3 Sundays please, please, please release a balloon to him at 5:00 that evening and wish him a happy 18th birthday! Take pictures and send them to me if you could. It doesn't matter if you live in CA, ID, WI, Canada, Mexico we would love to see everyone that did this for us so take pictures and email them to me @ The 2 colors we are using to promote everything we do is Green and Blue.
Thank you to everyone that emails me their stories about their Lemierre's battle!


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your brother. I met your parents at the Waipio Costco in Hawaii. I hope that they enjoyed their week in Hawaii! :o)

Kristie Estes said...

Thanks to the Rodgers family for sharing Justin's story with Lisa Sanders in the New York Times magazine. Just read it and also Dr. Robert Centor's post for today in DB's Medical Rants.

My daughter had Lemierre's in 2005. Today is exactly three years to the day since she had a craniotomy to remove a rapidly-enlarging brain abscess. She lived but there are still residual affects.

The ordeal of Lemierre's takes a heavy toll. No family is ever the same after the experience. Making the disease more well known as you are doing so well and with so much enthusiasm--will save lives.

Here's an interesting sidelight to share. The local ABC TV affiliate, KSTP Mpls-St.Paul, did a 2-part series on Lemierre's in 2007 which included 2 recent Minnesota cases. It was an excellent educating piece. But alas it was never picked up nationally. The producer of that segment was Becky Nahm. She said yesterday that she attended Eureka H.S. in St. Louis, MO.

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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