Sepsis Blog
Stauntons Receive Irish Presidential Award

On December 8th, Irish President Michael D Higgins presented a Presidential Distinguished Service Award to Ciarán and Orlaith Staunton whose work to highlight the medical condition of sepsis has saved more than 16,000 lives in New York State alone.

The awards honor those who have given distinguished service in the fields of peace-building, charitable work, business, education, arts, sport, and beyond. Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney, also attended the award presentation at Aras An Uachtarian. Congratulations to all the honorees and their families.

A letter for Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs sharing the news reads:

I am especially pleased that you have been selected to receive the Award under the category of Charitable Works. The central and significant role played by you in setting up the Rory Staunton Foundation in the wake of the tragic death of your young son, Rory, and the resultant laws which have been passed, has had a far-reaching impact. Your work has undoubtedly saved thousands of lives and will continue to impact on future generations. The award is well deserved and I am delighted to see your efforts recognized in this very special way at a national level.

Senator Charles Schumer of New York applauded the nomination:

I first met Ciarán, from Mayo, and Orlaith, from Louth, while working with Ciarán to pass comprehensive immigration reform, including expanding immigration opportunities and legalization for the Irish. In the wake of the tragic death of their son, Rory (who I met and knew), from sepsis in 2012, I and my staff have worked closely with them as they bravely sublimated their pain into positive action. They attacked the scourge of sepsis—determined to prevent others from experiencing the indescribable pain they had to endure.

Their grief from Rory’s loss was powerful, but so was their determination to make a positive change. Rather than curse the darkness, Ciarán and Orlaith chose to light a candle by founding the Rory Staunton Foundation to tackle the issue of sepsis by raising awareness about the mistakes that led to their son’s preventable death.”