Survivor Stories Blog

Part 2: Barbara Burlingame Addresses Fellow Okies-and Outbreak Victims throughout the US

“I learned to live one day at a time, Barbara Burlingame writes in this poignant summary of her experience as an outbreak victim. She comments on the ongoing situation in Tulsa, and she encourages fellow patients to “please ask for help”.

Barbara Burlingame and her faithful dog Clara
Barbara Burlingame and her faithful dog Clara

The recent incident in Tulsa, in which as many as 7,000 dental patients may have been infected with bloodborne pathogens while receiving treatment from Dr. Scott Harrington, has brought a lot of thoughts and feelings back in to my life. Honestly some of these feelings have been buried deeply and it is a little painful to have them bubbling back to the surface, but it is also very therapeutic. I think daily of the people in Tulsa and the way that they have been blindsided by all of this information and these emotions. It is tough. Read more

“I wish I could wrap all of Tulsa up in one big bear hug”

Barbara Burlingame is a survivor of the 2000 Oklahoma outbreak, in which nearly 100 patients were infected with viral hepatitis through reuse of syringes at a pain clinic. Here is her story, in her own words.

Barbara Burlingame and her faithful dog Clara
Barbara Burlingame and her faithful dog Clara

I never thought this could happen to me. I never thought I—or anyone I know—would be infected with hepatitis C while
receiving healthcare.

Starting in March 2002, I was tired all the time. I felt lousy. I would come home from work for lunch and take a nap. I had to set an alarm, or I would fall asleep and sleep through the afternoon.
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How can I help to prevent this from happening again? by Lauren Lollini

Lauren Lollini is a survivor of an outbreak caused by drug diversion

I applaud all who took part in the New Hampshire Hospital Association meeting September 22-24 which discussed ways to tighten up systems in an attempt to stop drug diversions which will ultimately help to prevent patient harm like the Hepatitis C outbreak which occurred in New Hampshire.

As a victim of a similar outbreak, I can attest to the fact that so often we just do not feel heard by the people who can make the most difference. Read more

HONOReform Presents Plan to Prevent Drug Diversion by Steve Langan

Panel discussion at NH Hospital Assn 2013 meeting
Preventing Drug Diversion Panel, NHHA meeting

I am grateful I had the opportunity participate in the annual New Hampshire Hospital Association meeting, September 22-24 in Bretton Woods.

The staff of NHHA, led by Steve Ahnen, the president, along with the board of directors, is clearly committed to the prevention of drug diversion—in New Hampshire and beyond. Read more

How can a person go in for a routine surgery and come out with Hepatitis C? Lauren’s story

How can a person go in for a routine surgery and come out with Hepatitis C?

Perhaps this is a question you have never thought to ask, and before April of 2009 it was not even in the realm of curiosity for me either. But as I entered the urgent care for what I thought might be bronchitis, only to be asked by the medical assistant, “Do you know you are yellow?” my world was immediately turned upside down. A trip to the ER and several other doctor’s visits and blood tests later confirmed I had Hepatitis C.
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Welcome to Survivor Stories Blog

99 Nebraskans were infected with Hepatitis C when a nurse reused syringes during chemotherapy administration in 2000.

34 Coloradans contracted Hepatitis C when a surgical technician injected herself with painkillers, then used the same syringe on patients.
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“I don’t want what happened to me to happen to anyone else” – Evelyn’s story


Evelyn McKnight, president of HONOReform
Evelyn McKnight,
president of HONOReform

A charmed life.

That’s what I had in the fall of 2000. I had a loving husband, three healthy sons, a rewarding career, and a comfortable home in the Midwest. But the unsafe injections I received in my doctor’s office changed my life in a profound and permanent way.

My husband and I were shocked when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was a healthy 45 year old with no risk factors. Immediately we turned to the only oncologist in our town. Tom was well acquainted with him since he had referred to him many of his family practice patients. We were confident I would receive quality care.

We were assured that this breast cancer diagnosis was only a “little bump in the road of life” and I would resume my charmed life after six months of chemotherapy in his private clinic.
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