Playing 18 to battle sepsis

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After her son’s near-fatal illness, Patricia Hatzfeld organized the golf fundraiser — which was attended by, among others, Block, who hit one of the day’s longest drives, and Dr. Maria Lyn Quintos-Alagheband, associate director of pediatric critical care and physician quality officer at the Children’s Medical Center at Winthrop. Hatzfeld wanted to shed light on the early warning signs of the disorder — high fever, hemorrhagic rash, swelling at the site of an open wound, extremely low blood pressure and excessive vomiting — and to make parents aware that they should not hesitate to seek medical care if their children exhibit them.

She also said that she wanted to dispel popular myths about sepsis — that only elderly people who have been diagnosed with pneumonia, or paraplegics, like the actor Christopher Reeve, whose death was hastened by sepsis, are affected by the disease.

“Sean has always been outgoing, and this hasn’t made him operate with any kind of trepidation,” Hatzfeld’s mother said of her own little Superman. “He’s not afraid of anything. He in fact is even more fearless now than he’s ever been.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation establishing mandates for sepsis protocols in emergency rooms last January. To learn more about Sean’s story, or about sepsis diagnosis and treatment, visit

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