Playing 18 to battle sepsis

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When his rash became inflamed and moved toward the other side of his forehead, Patricia drove him to South Nassau Communities Hospital, where he was diagnosed with orbital cellulitis, an infection that spreads from the sinuses to the eye socket, and treated him with antibiotics. Sean was later sent to Winthrop to be treated by a pediatric ophthalmologist, and there he started throwing up blood as his blood pressure dropped precipitously, he grew delirious, the rash spread and the inflammation worsened.

Dr. Bradley Block, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Winthrop who also practices at ENT and Allergy Associates, and whom Patricia described as “very particular, very compassionate, very matter-of-fact,” successfully treated Sean’s infection with surgery, and later prescribed antibiotics to combat any remaining signs of his infection.

Though he suffered complications after his surgery — his lungs and kidneys began failing due to ineffective blood transfusions and three rounds of dialysis — Sean underwent a plasma exchange that raised his white blood cell count and quickly restored his bodily functions in his seventh day in intensive care.

After spending two weeks recovering at Winthrop, he came home, but continued physical therapy for four weeks while his second-grade teacher, Mariana Mills, tutored him for two hours a day before he returned to school.

“I think we both understood what this family went through, and to know that a family can turn such a difficult time to such a wonderful thing for the greater good of others, that for me was very fulfilling,” said Oceanside School #5 Principal Diane Provvido, who attended the dinner after the golf outing with Mills. “I couldn’t be any prouder of this little boy and this family — it’s just remarkable.”

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