Patsy Schanbaum, GSK spokesperson and mother of meningitis survivor Jamie Schanbaum
In 2008, Patsy’s youngest daughter, Jamie, went to the hospital for what she thought was the flu. In less than 24 hours, Jamie went from healthy and free-spirited to very sick. She ultimately was diagnosed with meningococcal septicemia, more commonly referred to as bacterial meningitis and associated blood poisoning. Jamie spent seven months in the hospital and had all 10 of her fingers and both legs below the knee amputated.
During Jamie’s hospitalization and recovery, Patsy became a staunch advocate for meningitis awareness. In 2009, Jamie and Patsy founded a non-profit, the J.A.M.I.E. group (Joint Advocacy of Meningococcal Information & Education), to help educate others about the impact of meningitis and need for vaccination. Also in 2009, Texas passed Senate Bill 819, a.k.a. the Jamie Schanbaum Act, requiring students living in campus dorms to be vaccinated. Patsy is now working as a GSK spokesperson to educate parents and young adults about the dangers of meningitis and the vaccines available to help prevent it.
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