Monday, September 5, 2011

Tooth infection, no insurance kills man

A single unemployed father who died from a tooth infection developed a brain infection because he couldn't afford to purchase antibiotic for treatment. He leaves behind a 6 year old daughter. He was the nephew of 70's star Bootsy Collins.

The 24 year old father, Kyle Willis, needed to have an infected wisdom tooth extracted. The normal  treatment until infection in a tooth subsides is to take antibiotic and pain meds. He could only afford the pain medication. He then subsequently developed a brain infection and died. The young man was out of work and had no health insurance much like many people struggling in the States today.  Willis didn't have enough money for antibiotic treatment, so he treated just the pain until his headaches became so severe and his face became swollen. Which is what many people in his situation would probably do or those that are too scared to go to a dentist. The tooth infection quickly spread to his brain and Willis died at the University Hospital in Cincinnati where he was transported after becoming violently combative and delirious.The infection had already spread to his brain. 

 The infection was able to spread to his brain through one of the few openings in the blood-brain barrier that normally protects the brain and spinal cord from infection elsewhere in the body. The roots of your teeth sit within inches of the brain and are not behind the blood-brain barrier. Therefore your brain is not protected from dental infections.

Treating the tooth infection with antibiotic would have cost $27.00. The pain medication cost $3.00, according to the family. To help with funeral expenses, the family is seeking donations. Monies will also be put into a college fund for Wilis’ six year old daughter. Donations can be sent to: Kyle Willis Memorial Fund 604 Ohio Pike Cincinnati, Ohio 45245-2141 or online at: 
Tooth infection and gum disease that claimed Kyle Willis’ life can also have other disastrous consequences that include heart disease, stroke, lung disease, lower birth weight and premature birth. While I was pregnant with my latest child, I actually had a tooth infection that was costly to take care of, but I still did it because of the danger that it would have caused both myself and my child.  Luckily I had family to help pay for the costs. Of course, some people out there are not so lucky.  This is why something needs to be done about costly health insurance. It's ridiculous that people have to choose between playing with the possibility of death or going broke!

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