Sepsis Alliance, the nation’s leading sepsis organization, named Kentucky Family, Career and Community Leaders of American (FCCLA) and sepsis survivor Darrell Raikes as the 2019 Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award winners. Raikes and Kentucky FCCLA were jointly honored for raising awareness of sepsis in the state of Kentucky. Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to infection that takes a life every two minutes in the United States.

Reeca Carver, Kentucky FCCLA state adviser, and Raikes accepted the award at the 8th annual Sepsis Heroes gala in New York City Sept. 12.

In 2017, not long after surviving sepsis and spending more than a month in the intensive care unit, Raikes approached Kentucky FCCLA and asked the organization to help raise sepsis awareness. Working with Raikes, the students started the FCCLA Sepsis Awareness statewide campaign to educate their fellow young adults about sepsis and to support Sepsis Alliance.

Through this campaign, Kentucky FCCLA students and Raikes, have given 100 sepsis presentations to thousands of students throughout Kentucky. They have also raised more than $20,000 benefiting Sepsis Alliance for sepsis awareness and education.

The Erin Kay Flatley Spirit Award recognizes outstanding dedication, sacrifices and contributions to improving the care and lives of sepsis patients.