Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Patty Duke died of sepsis yesterday

March 30, 2016 

This is extra sad for me, because Patty Duke was my first celebrity crush. I was 10 years old at the time of her first season of The Patty Duke Show, in 1963. I was crazy for her, and her 'identical cousin', in every way! It was a brilliant and clever ruse that she played both main characters in the show. They were teen-aged cousins one of which was raised in England and the other in the US. The English one came to the States to live with her aunt and uncle's family. The two looked uncannily like twins but coming from different cultures they dressed differently, had different accents, and different mannerisms. It was one of the first TV shows (possibly the first) to use a split screen editing technique to have both characters be on a virtual stage so they could interact and appear to be talking to one another in real time. 

Well, I was crazy about her and she turned out to be a little crazy herself, but god bless her, she did good public service about her mental illness which was diagnosed as bipolar disorder. (Which, at the time was called "manic depression". She starred in a movie made for TV about her condition and she wrote a book with co-author Gloria Hochman called A Brilliant Madness, which broke down the complex nuances and everyday plights of dealing with a mood disorder. She also lobbied Congress for mental health research. [credit to Wikipedia for the last two sentences.] She also hit the big time in film as a child, playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, along with Anne Bancroft. Patty received an Oscar for her performance, at the age of only 16.  See photo above. 

Patty Duke Died Of The Most Common Condition You've Never Heard Of

Sepsis, a reaction to infection that leads to systemic organ failure, kills more than 258,000 Americans every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making it the ninth-leading cause of disease-related deaths in the country. While most people can fully recover from sepsis, some survivors are left with permanent organ damage or missing limbs due to amputation. 

Despite these alarming facts, less than half of Americans have even heard of sepsis, according to polls conducted by the Sepsis Alliance in partnership with official polling companies. In a 2015 online survey of 2,000 participants, only 47 percent of Americans were aware of sepsis. Meanwhile, 86 percent knew about Ebola and 76 percent knew about malaria -- two diseases that are much rarer in the United States.

People who have sepsis experience organ dysfunction caused by their body's overreaction to an initial infection, whether viral, bacterial or fungal. This overreaction is overwhelming for the body, and can lead to death. It's most common in people with compromised immune systems, like the very young, the very old and those with chronic diseases like AIDS, cancer, or diabetes. But people can also develop sepsis from a simple scrape, wound or burn that was not properly cleaned.

More about sepsis, what to look out for, and some more about Patty Duke.

It's VERY important information for anyone who is treating their Lyme disease (or cancer) by having a central line (Port, PICC, Hickman or other style) implanted in their body. I have had sepsis twice, and I know Lyme friends who have, too. I thought I was going to die the second time. A local LLMD (Lyme-literate MD) had sepsis recently and died from it because she didn't go the hospital soon enough.  


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