Investments in Discovery Create the Next Chapter of What Could Be
In one day, the Marnatti family’s world turned upside down. Their youngest daughter, Caroline, was admitted to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) on Mother’s Day 2018. She was in toxic shock from an infection caused by Streptococcus, or “strep,” and it was impacting her heart, kidneys and lungs. “She very rapidly progressed from being critically ill to arriving at death’s door,” says critical care specialist Juliane Bubeck Wardenburg, MD, PhD, pediatrics. It quickly became clear that Caroline would need extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), an advanced life support technique used for patients with life-threatening heart and/or lung problems.
“Research has helped people like me, who are interested in infectious disease, understand the mechanisms of infection progression at a granular level,” Dr. Bubeck Wardenburg says. “We understand many details about how bacteria and toxins we fight work — we know that this is something that can be reversed, and that the body is capable of recovering from. In Caroline, we coupled this knowledge with