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Teen's death inspires vaccine research

Posted at: 01/17/2013 5:22 PM
Updated at: 01/17/2013 8:10 PM
By: Robin De Wind

The tragic death of an Irondequoit athlete has inspired a community. Tyler Putnam died tragically of meningitis B. His family has teamed up with a local research group to study a new vaccine that could help children in the future.

Irondequoit's Tyler Putnam was a healthy and athletic student who died suddenly of Meningitis B in July 2011. His family is now working to help prevent this tragedy in the future.

Lindsay Putnam, Tyler's father, said, “Something has infiltrated your son's blood stream and he's very ill.”

Lindsay Putnam never expected his son's camping trip over the Fourth of July holiday would have ended his life. Tyler was a hockey player and sports lover from Irondequoit.

Tyler contracted meningitis B, bacterial meningitis is a rare, but serious infection of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Current vaccines children receive do not provide protection against meningitis B.

Michael Brennan, FNP, Rochester Clinical Research, said, “Right now, it accounts for one-third of cases in the United States.”

Rochester Clinical Research is testing a new vaccine for meningitis B. Michael Brennan is heading up the research. He is also a father of four from Irondequoit who wanted to do something more.

Brennan said, “Tyler Putnam died of meningitis B and we are now doing a study for a vaccine. We wanted to reach out to the family and see how we could work in a partnership.”

Study volunteers can identify themselves as a friend of Tyler's, in turn , Rochester Clinical Research will make a donation to the Tyler Putnam Foundation, which provides assistance to hockey families, as well as an annual scholarship in Tyler's honor.

News10NBC's Robin De Wind said, “As a parent who lost a child what would you like other parents to know?

Brennan said, “Something as simple as sharing  a drink can kill your children we need vaccinations to combat this. We don't ever want to see another child die because we are more interested in developing something other than vaccines in this country.”

To find out more about the study and how to be involved, click here.
For more  information about the Tyler Putnam Foundation, click here.