On April 8, my organization, Peggy Lillis Foundation (PLF), will host 25 advocates from 14 states at our National C. diff Summit. The following day, we will also lobby on Capitol Hill for much-needed action. These advocates, who include stay-at-home parents, retired federal workers, nurses, and law enforcement members, have all had their lives marred by Clostridium difficile (C. diff). Several are among the nearly 500,000 Americans battling this preventable illness every year. Others have lost a loved one to it, as nearly 30,000 families do annually. They’re all committed to raising awareness of C. diff and needed policy changes to end its harmful impact.
PLF was founded by me and my brother, Liam, following the April 2010 death of our mother Peggy from a community-acquired C. diff infection. Mom was only 56 years old when a prescription of broad-spectrum antibiotics following a routine dental procedure caused her to acquire this deadly infection. We had never heard of C. diff prior to her being hospitalized for severe diarrhea. From the time her doctors gave us her diagnosis – toxic megacolon and sepsis caused by a C. diff infection – until her death was just 36 hours.