On March 12, 2018, Olympic Gold Medalist, and lifelong athlete, Ken Flach, died a preventable death due to sepsis. Now, his widow, Christina Flach, is raising her voice to prevent other families from bearing the same loss. Christina has been interviewed by several news organizations, and is seeking further advocacy opportunities to share Ken’s story and save lives.
Ken was a strong, healthy athlete. His trophy room is filled with tokens from his wins at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, the Davis Cup, the Olympics, and Grand Slam tournaments. Ken officially retired from the professional tennis circuit in the 1990s, but the 54-year-old stayed active well into retirement. His favorite pastime, golf, kept him outdoors and energetic until just a week before his death. His healthy lifestyle highlights the insidious nature of sepsis, which can strike anyone, at any age, no matter how wholesome their habits are.
Within a week of Ken’s last golf game, he came down with what he thought was a cold. However, instead of getting better with rest, he began feeling worse than ever before. When Christina shares her husband’s story in interviews, she talks about how fast sepsis set in and became irreversible, the mistakes that were made by the healthcare system, and the importance of self-advocacy when it comes to health.
“Sepsis is tricky because it is treatable as long as it is caught early, but it is devastating if the diagnosis arrives too late. In Ken’s case, he called Kaiser asking for help, but they did not take his complaints seriously, and they concluded his problem was insignificant without even seeing him. It’s critical that people are aware of the symptoms, so they can act fast in order to get lifesaving treatment,” shared Christina, “You know your body. Trust your intuition. Sepsis symptoms are on a whole other level than your typical ailment. Get help as fast as possible, and don’t take no for an answer. Your life, or the life of your loved one, could be at risk.”
Christina has connected with Sepsis Alliance to help spread the word about sepsis in order to save as many lives as possible. September is Sepsis Awareness Month, so both Christina and Sepsis Alliance have been busy raising awareness about the leading cause of death in US hospitals. Christina shared her family’s story with KTVU’s Debora Villalon early this month, and also warned Bay Area sports fans on the Tolbert & Lund radio show.
“Lots of people have heard of sepsis, but they don’t know that it’s your body having a toxic response to an infection, they don’t know the symptoms, and they don’t know how fast-moving it is. With each interview, we have the opportunity to save someone’s life,” Christina noted of her mission.
Christina is available for interviews, and is willing to travel far-and-wide to raise the public’s awareness of sepsis and prevent further loss of life, and the grief that comes along with it. Interested parties can call (415)717-9864, email Christina(at)PrettyGirlMakeup.com, or connect with her on Facebook. Learn more about sepsis at http://www.sepsis.org, and tell our healthcare system to enact lifesaving sepsis protocols by signing this petition