Tony Galbo resides in Monticello, Illinois. He and his wife Liz are parents to five children, four daughters and one son: Sophia (19), Nina (13), Gabby (5), Filippo (4), and Giada (2). Gabby, their third and youngest daughter at the time, passed away on May 11, 2012. She was the tender age of five when the bacterial infection Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which results from a tick bite went repeatedly untreated by doctors and led to septic shock. After her passing Tony and Elizabeth went on to have two more children, a son named Filippo Gabriele and a daughter named Giada Gabriella, both named in honor of their sister. “Gabby’s full name was Gabriella Giada, so when our daughter was born we knew we had to find a special way that they could share the same name. Giving her the same name, but reversing the order of the first and middle name was our answer.”
Tony is a Monticello native who was born, raised, and resides with his own children in the community. “It’s a beautiful, small Midwest town with a close-knit community, and is a great place to raise a family,” says Tony. Tony’s family established and currently runs Filippo’s Pizza and Italian Food which has been a Monticello favorite since 1970. Tony grew up working in the family business, and it was a staple in his own children’s lives until the passing of his daughter in 2012. After Gabby passed away it became my mission to see that no parent would ever have to live through what we did. I held my daughter’s hand which the life had then left and just kept crying that I would fight for her, and that is exactly what my wife and I did. Together, we began calling local representatives, scheduled meetings and visited our senator Chapin Rose. After three years of hard work, which included unanimous votes by the Senate, House and the Health Committee, Gabby’s Law was signed into law by governor Rauner on August 18, 2016. Gabby’s Law requires all Illinois hospitals to adopt, implement and periodically update protocols for the early recognition and treatment of patients with sepsis or septic shock.
Tony and his wife continue to spread awareness on sepsis daily through such things as Sepsis billboards, social media and by selling Gabby’s Law/Know Sepsis signs for display around their local community. The proceeds from Gabby’s Law signs are then donated to Sepsis Alliance as way for us to give back and help further the fight against Sepsis. In 2017 they received the Erin K. Flatley award from Sepsis Alliance, and Tony continues to work with Illinois Senator Chapin Rose on additional legislation, which most recently includes the development of the Illinois Sepsis Task Force. This task force shall include, but not be limited to the study Sepsis early intervention and prevention of loss of life from Sepsis, determining how Illinois can improve patients’ rights and prevent sepsis. He has participated in meetings at the CDC and CMS, and in 2017 was asked to join the Department of Defense-Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs Tick Borne Disease Programmatic Panel (CDMRP) which he currently serves on. Serving on this board addresses Tony’s additional fight for advocacy of tick borne disease awareness.
Gabby was the most kind, caring, and loving child. She was pure of heart and full of curiosity. She had the sense of humor of an adult, was a friend to everyone, a lover of all things in this world. Gabby’s death from sepsis was preventable and needless. “Our daughter should be here with us not lying in a cemetery. Gabby’s Law shouldn’t be our daughter’s legacy, but it is. I always knew Gabby would do great things in life, and with the passage of Gabby’s Law we believe that she still will.” We urge you to educate yourself and know sepsis. Sepsis protocols should be mandatory not voluntary in every state. Sepsis is a medical emergency.