L’Oreal Women of Worth 2016, one of the most prestigious honors for women in America, has named an Irish woman on their Top Ten list.
She is Orlaith Staunton, a former resident of County Louth living in America for 25 years. After losing her son Rory to sepsis, Orlaith and her husband established The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention. Their story has been featured in the New York Times on the front page and in Maureen Dowd’s NY Times column.
Sepsis kills more than 250,000 Americans every year – more than breast cancer, prostate cancer, and AIDS combined. Yet, Orlaith’s organization has discovered that 60 percent of Americans are not familiar with the disease because it is almost always listed as flu or pneumonia on death certificates and within medical records. A simple course of antibiotics can reverse the course of the disease in many cases.
The Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Prevention seeks to reduce the number of sepsis-caused deaths through education and outreach leading to faster diagnoses and effective treatments of sepsis, particularly in children. Orlaith's efforts have already had a far-reaching impact. In January 2013, less than one year after Rory’s death, the State of New York adopted a mandated set of protocols, known as “Rory’s Regulations,” which require hospitals to screen patients suspected of sepsis and to expedite prompt treatment with antibiotics. It’s estimated that Rory’s Regulations will save up to 8,000 New Yorkers every year.
In addition, numerous parents have written to the Staunton Family – Orlaith, her husband Ciaran and daughter Kathleen – and described how the Stauntons' efforts saved their children's lives by making them think sepsis when their child became sick.
"The 2016 Women of Worth are passionate and vibrant women united in a mission to improve the lives of others," said Karen T. Fondu, President of L'Oréal Paris. "Through their actions, the Women of Worth demonstrate an inner strength that is transformative to their communities and the embodiment of our L'Oréal Paris belief that celebrates the intrinsic worth and beauty of every woman."
To vote for Orlaith Staunton visit L’Oreal Women of Worth here.
* Orlaith Staunton is a sister of IrishCentral founder Niall O’Dowd.