By: Christian John Lillis
When Peggy Lillis died of a clostridium difficile infection in 2010, her sons were shocked.
Lillis had gone to the dentist for a routine root canal and, four days later, wound up in the hospital from an infection caused by the treatment she was taking for an abscess. Ultimately, it took her life.
“She died from this thing that I, an incredibly neurotic person, had never heard of,” her oldest son, Christian Lillis, who had spent years working with LGBTQ+ advocacy groups to reduce HIV infection rates, said.
“At that point, they estimated that it killed about 14,000 people a year,” Lillis said, pointing out that it was more than the number of drunk driving-related deaths in the U.S. that year.