How Can You Help?
Share your StorySupport UsGet Resources

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 disease 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. Programs recognize excellence in pediatric nursing and also designate an Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award at the Sepsis Alliance annual Sepsis Heroes gala. The campaign has also 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 (see below).

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's Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards

Meet the 2020 award winners, just click here!

Sepsis Alliance recognizes healthcare professionals who demonstrate excellence in their work and a commitment to improving outcomes among sepsis patients.

Sepsis Alliance has made the difficult decision to postpone Sepsis Heroes and the Erin’s Campaign for Kids Nursing Awards until 2022.  Please check back in Spring 2022 for application information. Each applicant is only eligible to win once in each category in their lifetime.

Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award

The Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award recognizes outstanding dedication, sacrifice and contribution to improving the care and lives of sepsis patients. 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 and is presented at the annual Sepsis Heroes gala in New York City. Spirit Award recipients effectively bring Erin’s spirit to the fight against sepsis and are selected by a panel of experts. Recipients receive a $5,000 award to further their work.

Meet the 2020 Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award winner: Alyssia Aguilar

Past recipients: