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Meet Bug!

pediatric sepsis week, pediatric sepsis, sepsis, children

Bug is a friendly ladybug who loves to help children learn about preventing infections so they can be healthy. Alyssia Aguilar created Bug in loving memory of her son Mark Anthony II, who was taken by sepsis when he was only 16 days old.

Bug was inspired by the spirit of Erin “Bug” Flatley, an aspiring teacher who passed away from sepsis when she was 23 years old.  After losing Erin, her father Carl Flatley, DDS, MSD, founded Sepsis Alliance. In her memory, Carl and Sepsis Alliance developed Erin’s Campaign for Kids, to help combat the high incidence and mortality rates of sepsis among children. To learn more about the campaign, click here.

Bug Helps You Learn to Stay Sepsis Safe

Bug's Angels

Bug’s Angels represent the children whose lives have been lost to sepsis. Sepsis is the leading cause of death in babies and small children worldwide, taking more lives than childhood cancers in the United States. We remember and honor their lives, their spirits, and their smiles by celebrating them as Bug’s Angels.

Betty Wattenbarger

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My daughter Betty Wattenbarger died from flu complicated by sepsis and pneumonia. (Sepsis and Influenza, Sepsis and Pneumonia) She was 7. We were at a pediatric urgent care the day before her death and the APN on staff diagnosed her with flu and said her lungs were clear. The next morning she died. She was bleeding internally from sepsis and pneumonia. The nurse missed her having nearly 1/3 of a cup of fluid in her left lung. The nurse did not do a PCT test l, X-ray or any other diagnostic. We know now after her death that she was …

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Andrew John McDonough

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In my eyes, I had the perfect life. On January 29, 2007, my perfect world was turned on its side.  My wife and I brought our 14 year old son, Andrew, to the hospital for what we thought was appendicitis.  While I certainly hurt for Andrew being in such pain, I knew that a simple operation and some time off of his feet would make Andrew as good as new. After all, just 48 hours earlier, Andrew had played four soccer games to help his team win the Pennsylvania State Championship.  Earlier in that week, Andrew went skiing, had two …

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Ethan C.

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My son Ethan was 4 years old. He had cerebral palsy and lots if many disabilities. But he was a superhero. (Sepsis and Children) On April 26 2019 my husband came to my job telling me our home nurse for my son left and he couldn’t get our son’s oxygen levels up any higher then 87. I came home and tried everything I could from home equipment. We rushed him to the hospItal. Within an hour we found out he had a UTI. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) We were admitted and thought just another stay. He is going to …

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Mason Kekoa Macloves

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On June 5, 2015, we welcomed our first child, Mason Kekoa. Born early at 33 weeks, Mason weighed just 4lbs 0.4 oz and was 16.14 inches long. Despite his tiny frame however, Mason was born perfectly healthy. In the months that followed, Mason quickly caught up to national growth comparisons of full-term babies by the time he turned 3 months old… an accomplishment that had his doctors in awe. On Monday, January 25, 2016, Mason underwent a surgical procedure to fix a non-life threatening and common condition, where chances of complications were less than 3%. The surgery went fine and we …

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Jaime Reid

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My daughter, Jaime, was diagnosed with mono the last week of June, 2013. She was 15 and had just finished her freshman year in high school. She was upset that she was missing the first week of summer vacation because she felt so terribly. Jaime went to Urgent Care on Sunday, June 23rd, and the doctor performed a strep test, which was negative. But they also took a throat culture that day. She began running high fevers but they responded to Tylenol and we kept fluids going. I took her to see her pediatrician on Tuesday, June 25th, and chest …

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Resources for Kids

It’s not easy to talk to children about sepsis and preventing infection, especially if a loved one has sepsis. Thankfully, Bug is here to help. With Bug as a guide, we’ve developed kid-friendly resources to teach children about sepsis and infection prevention. Check them out below.

My Guide to Sepsis and the Intensive Care Unit

Having a loved one sick in the hospital can be really confusing. In this guide, Bug helps children understand sepsis and the ICU.


My Guide to Sepsis and the Intensive Care Unit – Children

Bug Coloring Book

Download this printable coloring book to help children learn about preventing infections. Infection prevention equals sepsis prevention.

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My Guide to Sepsis and the Intensive Care Unit – Children