Passing of Acting Icon Leads to a National Conversation About Sepsis

March 30, 2016

Sepsis Alliance featured in special Huffington Post article on sepsis, spurred by the death of Academy Award-winning actress Patty Duke.

March 30, 2016 – San Diego, California – Sepsis Alliance today was featured in the major news story published by Huffington Post. The article titled, “Patty Duke’s Death Announcement Is A Milestone For Sepsis Awareness,” helps shine the spotlight on a disease that claimed Patty Duke’s life, yet fewer than half of adults have ever heard of it.

Patty Duke was a beloved icon in popular culture, best known for her role in The Patty Duke Show. She was an Academy Award-winning actress and a pioneering mental health advocate who died unexpectedly on March 29, 2016 at the age of 69. In a statement released upon her passing, her cause of death was listed as sepsis, caused by a ruptured intestine.

“The passing of an icon like Ms. Duke is a tragedy, particularly for someone so young and who did so much for so many,” said Thomas Heymann, Executive Director of Sepsis Alliance. “We are thankful for the attention that the Huffington Poststory has brought to this deadly disease, and hope it spurs more conversations between patients, families, and health providers.”

The piece has also encouraged many other publications to write about sepsis, and has inspired a tremendous response and interest on social media.

Sepsis Alliance extends its deepest condolences to Ms. Duke’s family during this time of loss, and thanks them for being open and candid about her passing. We also wish to thank Huffington Post and Senior Healthy Living Editor Anna Almendrala, and encourage sepsis advocates to read the full article here.

About Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the leading nonprofit patient advocacy organization in North America. Sepsis Alliance’s mission is to save lives by raising awareness of sepsis as a medical emergency. The organization hosts national and community events, distributes educational information, and promotes training and education on sepsis prevention and early recognition and treatment. Sepsis Alliance also support sepsis survivors and family members with information about sepsis and Post Sepsis Syndrome, as well as a Faces of Sepsis community forum. The website receive 1 million visits each year. Sepsis Alliance, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a GuideStar Gold Rated Charity. For more information, please visit