Erin's Campaign for Kids

In Memory of… Erin “Bug” Flatley, 1978 – 2002erin-flatley

Erin’s Campaign for Kids aims to combat the high incidence and mortality rates of sepsis among children. The campaign creates awards and training programs for nurses and other health professionals to help identify and treat a condition that, by conservative estimates, causes over 18 child deaths per day or 6,800 child deaths in the United States every year, more than pediatric cancers.

The campaign is named to honor Erin Kay Flatley, an aspiring teacher, who died from sepsis that developed following a routine surgery at the age of 23. Erin’s spirit lives on through the creation of Sepsis Alliance.

Erin’s Campaign for Kids is a first-of-its-kind initiative, created to address an unmet need: the devastating impact of sepsis on children.  The campaign has produced the award-winning educational video “Sepsis and Children,” conducted a national survey of parents’ sepsis awareness, distributed thousands of pediatric sepsis information guides, and created a pediatric sepsis symptoms card. To view resources for sepsis in children, click here.

Click here to read Erin’s Faces of Sepsis story.

About Erin

“It seems like yesterday our healthy and vibrant 23-year-old daughter Erin was with us. The devastation is real and constant, especially with the knowledge now that had I just put her caregivers on notice that we were concerned about sepsis and asked a few understandable questions every day, she would be here. Doing just this worked for me after I got sepsis myself two years ago, or my recovery might not have occurred.

“There are no redos or make-ups. The pain is forever!

“I was told, confidentially, by medical personnel at her death bed, ‘There are lots of Erins.’ As a health professional of 25 years, I had no idea sepsis was such a publicly non-discussed global problem that is centuries old. WHY? There are things you can do.”

— Carl Flatley, DDS , MSD

Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award

The Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award recognizes the outstanding dedication, sacrifice, and contribution to improving sepsis awareness and reducing the suffering caused by sepsis. Erin was a passionate young woman who wanted to be an elementary school teacher. Her desire to give back to society is the basis for this award recognition.

The award recognizes one organization or individual each year with a $5,000 prize. Spirit Award recipients effectively bring Erin’s spirit to the fight against sepsis and are selected by Sepsis Alliance.

You can nominate yourself or another person/group for the 2024 Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award byclicking here. Nominations will be open until June 1, 2024.  

Past recipients:

Erin's Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards

For nine years, Sepsis Alliance recognized healthcare professionals who demonstrated excellence in their work and a commitment to improving outcomes among sepsis patients.

Meet previous award winners by clicking here.