Unemployed, Uninsured Man Dies From Tooth Infection

Kyle Willis, 24, died from a preventable condition.

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Kyle Willis, 24, died from a preventable infection. (Google)

New York's Daily News is reporting that Kyle Willis, a 24-year-old Cincinnati man, died from a tooth infection that spread to his brain. Willis, who was unemployed and uninsured, had a toothache and was told that he needed his wisdom teeth pulled. Willis could not afford the procedure, so he decided to wait it out.

Willis ended up going to the emergency room when his face began to swell. He was informed that he had an infection that could spread to his brain, so doctors prescribed a pain reliever and antibiotic. Willis could not afford the antibiotic, so he took the pain reliever instead.

While Willis' discomfort subsided, the infection continued to spread, causing lethal swelling in his brain that resulted in his death. Experts say Willis' story is not unique.

Many Americans are having to make these kinds of decisions, which have very real consequences. Willis lost his life, and his 6-year-old daughter lost her father. We know that those against universal health care will say that it is his responsibility to handle his medical care, but what happens when you've exhausted all possibilities? What about people who don't have anyone in their family to ask for help? If everyone in your family is unemployed or underemployed, where can you get help?

This is clearly a case of when doing what you have to do goes horribly wrong. How many more stories like this will we have to read about before something is done about chronic unemployment and the uninsured?

Read more at the Daily News.

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