By Bryn Nelson
“Perhaps Peggy contracted the deadly infection in the nearby nursing home where she periodically visited her godmother. Perhaps it was from the dentist’s office, where she underwent a root canal, was treated for an abscess and was prescribed clindamycin, a broad-spectrum antibiotic that can profoundly alter the gut microbiome and clear the way for C. diff.
The infection progressed so quickly that a faecal transplant – even if her sons had heard of it – may not have helped. ‘But I think the key thing here,’ says her oldest son, Christian, ‘is that the disease itself and our ability to raise awareness of it and talk about it, identify it, prevent it, treat it, is all complicated by the fact that we don’t want to talk about shit.’
In 2010, Christian and his brother, Liam, co-founded the Peggy Lillis Foundation to focus more attention on an infection that has long outgrown its reputation as a nuisance in hospitals and nursing homes. ‘To me, it’s a really big public health crisis and one that we’re not talking about,’ Christian says.”
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