Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/5/2011 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

24-year-old unemployed father elected to buy pain killers in lieu of antibiotics

In an especially shameful episode that highlights the plight of those in the U.S. without medical insurance, a 24-year-old father has died from a wisdom tooth infection. Unable to afford both pain killers and antibiotics, Kyle Willis of Cincinnati, Ohio died after the infection spread.

Kyle Willis, who was unemployed and did not have medical insurance, purchased $3 pain medication instead of the $27 antibiotics because he couldn't afford it. The decision cost him his life as his wisdom tooth infection spread to his brain, killing him.

Kyle Willis, who was unemployed and did not have medical insurance, purchased $3 pain medication instead of the $27 antibiotics because he couldn't afford it. The decision cost him his life as his wisdom tooth infection spread to his brain, killing him.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/5/2011 (2 years ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Health insurance, dentistry, infection, antibiotics


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "He [Willis] might as well have been living in 1927," Dr. Jim Jirjis, director of general internal medicine at Vanderbilt University said. "All of the advances we've made in medicine today and are proud of, for people who don't have coverage, you might as well never have developed those."

Jirjis says that people like Willis, without access to care often dies of conditions that were much more common decades ago.

Prior to his death, dentists told Willis his infected wisdom tooth needed to be pulled. Willis decided to forgo the procedure, because he was unemployed and had no health insurance.

When his face started to swell and his head began to ache, Willis went to the emergency room, where he received prescriptions for antibiotics and pain medications. Willis couldn't afford both, so he chose the pain medications. The infection spread, causing his brain to swell - he died last week.

"People don't realize that dental disease can cause serious illness," Dr. Irvin Silverstein, a dentist at the University of California at San Diego says. "The problems are not just cosmetic. Many people die from dental disease."

Tragically, Willis' story is not unique. In 2007, 12-year-old Deamonte Driver also died when a tooth infection spread to his brain. The Maryland boy underwent two operations and six weeks of hospital care, totaling $250,000. Doctors said a routine $80 tooth extraction could have saved his life.

Deamonte's family was uninsured and had recently lost its Medicaid benefits, preventing the boy from having dental surgery.

"When people are unemployed or don't have insurance, where do they go? What do they do?" Silverstein said. "People end up dying, and these are the most treatable, preventable diseases in the world."

The Kaiser Family Foundation reported earlier this year said that 33 percent of people surveyed skipped dental care or dental checkups because they couldn't afford them. A 2003 report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that 108 million Americans had no dental insurance, nearly 2.5 times the number who had no health insurance.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Health

A LOT OF TEETH! Doctors remove 232 teeth from mouth of teenager Watch

Image of Medicos have described the teenager's condition as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

We've all had to suffer for several hours in a dental chair, but chances are that our worst experiences were nothing like that of an Indian teenager who had 232 teeth removed during a seven-hour operation. Now done to 28 teeth, the youth has a better chance for ... continue reading


SURPRISE! Study finds that obese kids in the U.S. see themselves as being skinny! Watch

Image of Curiously, researchers found that some obese children even believed that they were underweight.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Should it come as a surprise - or just another sad comment on the prevalence of obesity in the United States? A new study has found that children who are overweight or obese don't see themselves as being so. Researchers and medical experts says this needs to ... continue reading


NEW FEARS: Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome may be transmitted through air Watch

Image of In their research, scientists from King Fahd Medical Research Center in Saudi Arabia collected three air samples from a camel barn.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There are new fears that the rapidly spreading virus, Middle Eastern respiratory The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, or MERS, may be an airborne virus - making the disease highly easy to transmit, and get. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - To ... continue reading


Light at end of tunnel? HIV epidemic could be contained by 2030 Watch

Image of While HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, continues to be an ongoing threat - more so in developing nations where education about its transmission is compromised, there now appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, continues to be an ongoing threat - more so in developing nations where education about its transmission is compromised, there now appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel. According to the United Nations, new HIV ... continue reading


Dye now being used to detect dementia Watch

Image of Researchers from Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina, tested 152 patients older than 50 years of age to see if they could predict cognitive decline by tracking changes in the brain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Dementia, like Alzheimer's is a disease that usually effects the elderly. In the manner of Alzheimer's plaque begins to collect in the brain at an advanced age. This drastically effects the patient's memory, cognitive ability and motor skills, with many winding ... continue reading


Breakthrough announced in hereditary condition that causes blindness Watch

Image of The age at which symptoms start is variable and the rate of deterioration often varies. In around half of all cases there are other family members with the condition.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Retinitis pigmentosa, or RP is an inherited, degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and frequently leads to blindness. Affecting around one in 3,000 to 4,000 people, scientists have moved closer to a breakthrough in "personalized" ... continue reading


Deadly plague than can be spread by coughing, sneezing infects Colorado man Watch

Image of Untreated plague is always fatal. Antibiotics have to be given within 24 hours of the first symptoms to reduce the chance of death.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's the first case of pneumonic plague seen in Colorado since 2004. A man there has been diagnosed with among the rarest and most fatal forms of the plague, an airborne version that can be spread through coughing and sneezing. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Sighs of relief after vials of smallpox found Watch

Image of The FBI is investigating how the samples ended up where they did.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There were sighs of relief when someone made a discovery in a disused closet. Many thanked the Lord that it didn't fall into the wrong hands. An employee at the National Institutes of Health found vials of smallpox, the onetime scourge of humanity, in a storage ... continue reading


Birth control computer chip implanted under the skin 'could be on sale by 2018' Watch

Image of An international coalition of governments, companies, philanthropies and nonprofit organizations committed to providing family planning to 120 million more women in the world by 2020.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long in gestation, the idea of a computer chip implanted under the skin to regulate fertility is now within throwing distance of becoming an actuality. The idea has been with us since the Nineties, and thanks to a nudge from Microsoft's Bill Gates, such as ... continue reading


New blood test could determine onset of Alzheimer's Watch

Image of The new blood test, which examines 10 proteins in the blood, can predict with 87 percent accuracy whether someone suffering memory problems will develop Alzheimer's within a year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The memory-destroying condition known as Alzheimer's, preying chiefly on the elderly, has no known cure. However, after a decade of research, scientists at Oxford University and King's College London have identified 10 proteins that arise when a patient is due ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 15:10, 16-21
10 A disaster for me, mother, that you bore me to be ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 59:2-3, 4, 10-11, 17, 18
2 rescue me from evil-doers, from men of violence ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:44-46
44 'The kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2014 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the Church ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter