Friday, November 28, 2008

MRSA

By Michele

I wasn't going to "talk" about this because it's very sad and I don't care to make anyone sad, but I started thinking about it and feel that it is important because only "we" as a community can do something about this.

What I'm talking about is a virus called MRSA or also known as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus. It is a staph infection that has been around for decades, which is resistant to most antibiotics. It can be lethal. Many of us are carriers of MRSA and can remain healthy, however, the bacteria enters the blood stream through a cut or scrape. It then forms what appears to be red, painful bumps that resemble pimples or spider bites. It attacks the lungs, the joints and the blood. Part of the problem is that antibiotics have been so overused in this that the bacteria has mutated and is a real concern for doctors who don't know what the future holds. Here is the major problem--the pharmaceutical companies aren't doing a thing to provide a cure. There aren't any new antibiotics being created that can help fight this, and the reason is there is not enough money in finding cures. There's tons of cash in anti-depressants, cholesterol meds and diabetic medicine, and we need those meds, but come on if we don't start insisting on cures, we're going to find an epidemic on our hands.

Check out the Mayo Clinics article about community MRSA http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/mrsa/DS00735/DSECTION=1#

The reason I feel so strongly about this is last week two children in my community died from it. One of them I knew. He was a thirteen-year-old boy who was a truly awesome kid. Here is a little bit about Brian:
Brian William Carbaugh, 13, of Encinitas, Calif., went to be with Jesus on Friday, Jan. 19, 2008. Surrounded by family and friends, he passed peacefully at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, Calif., where he received the most loving and incredible professional care from the doctors, nurses and medical team.
Brian was born on July 1, 1994. He lived in and loved Encinitas, Calif., where he enjoyed Junior Lifeguards at Moonlight Beach, street tacos at El Torito Market, and was an exuberant Padre and Charger fan. His life revolved around so many activities involving water! He loved swimming, jet skiing, snorkeling, surfing and wake surfing/boarding during family trips to Borrego Springs, Bass Lake, Del Mar Beach Motel vacations, and deep sea fishing excursions with the Clark clan. He loved to travel and visit the Carbaugh family in Maryland, where crab feasts, and driving boats on the Chesapeake Bay were among his favorite things to do. So many memories and life friends were made during Brian's stay with us here on Earth.

His love of life also included reading, going to Padre games at Petco Park with dad, playing Xbox with his friends, playing Texas Hold 'Em and Poker with his Oma. Times with Grandpa Bill in the garage were cherished moments. Brian played baseball since age 6 for Encinitas National Little League and loved having his dad coach him. He loved surfing with his big brother, Scott, and pestering his big sister, Katie.

Following a burn accident at the age of 2, Brian spent many hours of recovery at UCSD Burn Center. He and his late mother, Robyn, became strong advocates of support to the burn center after he received a Barney stuffed dinosaur and video during his stay there. They continued this commitment by starting an annual toy drive that continues today. He was also the recipient of the Hasbro G.I. Joe Hero Award in Washington, D.C., because of his commitment of service to others. He also enjoyed his annual week at Camp Kesem, a camp for children who have a parent who has been impacted by cancer.

Brian is survived by his dad, Jim, brother, Scott, and sister, Katie, as he joins his mom, Robyn, in heaven.

As you can tell this boy LIVED life and I'm confused and angry as to why he had to go, but I believe there is a plan. I have faith there is a reason for Brian's passing.

On Friday morning on my way to Brian's service, which was standing room only, I received a call from a friend of mine to tell me about another child who passed away last week from MRSA who attended a school only a few miles away from us. I don't know this family, but my heart goes out to them. The little boy was only eight-years-old. I can't even imagine the loss for either of these families and the heaviness they must feel.

I think as parents. brothers, sisters, friends, we need to do something to make changes. It is time to write your representatives and see if we can't do something, anything to make a difference. If this doesn't feel like your cause, find one, hold our leaders accountable to making this a better country, a better place. Currently Brian's family is in the process of raising $50,000.00 to cover medical costs their insurance didn't. To me that also feels criminal that this family would suffer so greatly and now have to worry about paying the medical bills. I realize this happens all over the country, but this has been a real wake up call for me to actually do something about it--if it means learning, educating, writing letters to leaders, and raising money to make a difference, then I'm in. I hope you are too.

Please read about this "superbug." It affects all ages. Wash your hands, wash your wounds and treat with neosporin and a bandage, don't share razors or towels. These are some of the preventative measures that you need to take.

It is not my goal to make anyone feel bad or sad. It's my hope that you will get inspired to help make changes in our world.

Michele