It lead to something greater! The foundation works towards preventing such unfortunate incidents among children.
12-year-old Rory Staunton was playing in a basketball game at his private school in New York back in 2012 when he fell going for the ball. His fall resulted in a seemingly harmless little scrape that would end up taking his life just four days later. Rory’s parents, Orlaith and Ciaran, an Irish couple from Co Louth, decided to establish the Rory Staunton Foundation shortly after he’d passed, hoping to raise awareness about the cause of their son’s death: sepsis. Sepsis can be caused by any type of infection, be it viral, fungal, or in Rory’s case, bacterial. Young people are particularly susceptible to this infection, and what makes it so deadly is the fact that it inhibits blood flow to the body’s vital organs and raises the risk for blood clots.
With the creation of the Rory Staunton Foundation, Rory’s parents also hoped to help introduce a higher standard of protocol when it comes to the identification and treatment of sepsis, so that others may stand a better chance at avoiding the same fate as their son.
Just a year later on January 29, 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that all New York State hospitals would adopt evidence-based protocols, known as Rory’s Regulations, to help diagnose and treat sepsis infections as fast as possible.
And it seems to be working, according to a New York State report focused on how the introduction of the ‘Sepsis Care Improvement Initiative’ has boosted the performances of New York State hospitals. Sepsis infections are being identified and treated much faster, leading to fewer deaths.
"We have met the people that have been saved by these protocols," said Rory’s father, Ciaran.
"We are happy that their parents are not joining us in this miserable life. We want that fighting chance extended to every family in America".
But, while Ciaran Staunton is happy that regulations and awareness have both been dramatically increased in the state of New York, he says that his ultimate goal is to have similar regulations implemented in every state in the U.S. by the year 2020.
"When our son died, there was no awareness, no sepsis protocols, nothing in the A-Z book on sepsis," he said.
"Now we've shown here's what we can do in New York - we want the US Government to have the same level of anxiety and awareness of sepsis as they do Ebola."
According to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), over a million people in the United States suffer from sepsis each year, with anywhere from 28 per cent to 50 per cent of those people dying as a result.
Rory’s father says that they’re not looking for a miracle, they’re looking to inform people, as he believes that less than half of all Americans have even heard of sepsis before.
"We're not looking for a cure for sepsis, we're looking for awareness," he said.
"Our foundation looks to change that and to reflect how everyone affected in America is being treated".