Congressman Crowley Applauds Sunnyside Family for Testifying Before Senate Committee in Effort to Fight Sepsis

September 26, 2013
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) - Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) applauded Sunnyside resident Ciaran Staunton for testifying Tuesday before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee about the importance of improving efforts to fight sepsis and septic shock. Staunton, joined by his wife Orlaith and their daughter Kathleen, among other friends and family, spoke about the efforts of the Rory Staunton Foundation to raise awareness of sepsis.

The Staunton family created the Rory Staunton Foundation in honor of their son Rory, who died at the age of 12 in 2012 from sepsis. The Foundation aims to reduce the number of sepsis-caused deaths through education and outreach aimed at faster diagnosis and effective treatment of sepsis, particularly in children.

“I am so proud of the Staunton family for bringing Rory’s story to our nation's attention,” said Rep. Crowley. “Tuesday’s Senate hearing shed a much-needed light on the important issue of sepsis and the efforts that must be taken to ensure that we reverse the tide against this all-too-common disease.”

“We are encouraged that our voice is being heard once again, this time on a federal level,” said Staunton. “Our son Rory should not have died and through these hearings we will continue to advocate for changes that will save hundreds of thousands of American lives.”

Tuesday’s Senate HELP Committee hearing focused on “U.S. Efforts to Reduce Healthcare-Associated Infections.” Sepsis, one of the most common and deadliest types of infections, strikes 750,000 people in the U.S. every year. Crowley has worked to increase funding for sepsis research and education, and is currently developing legislation to improve sepsis awareness, recognition, and treatment.

Congressman Crowley is the eight-term representative from the 14th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus in the House of Representatives.