College Student Dies Of Bacterial Infection She Thought Was Tonsillitis

Symptoms confused for tonsilitis turned out to be a rare bacterial infection that caused a college student's life to end far too soon.

Student dies from Bacterial Infection
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Symptoms confused for tonsilitis turned out to be a rare bacterial infection that caused a college student's life to end far too soon.

Samantha Scott was a busy college student and talented coxswain for the women’s rowing team at Kansas State University. She was living life to the fullest until she started to feel an usual pain and swelling in her throat only two weeks ago. Like most anyone would, she assumed the symptoms were just the start of a cold and didn’t pay them much attention.

Unfortunately, the throat swelling didn’t subside and Scott was forced to pay a visit to the emergency room. It wasn’t until she got to the hospital that she was informed that what she thought was just a sore throat was really Lemierre’s syndrome. This rare infection begins with symptoms that can easily be confused with something mild such as tonsillitis or a bad sore throat. However, the swelling can quickly get out of control, allowing the deadly infection to be spread around to the rest of the body. The disease is so uncommon that there is only limited information regarding how the disease develops. If it is not caught early on and treated with antibiotics, it can be nearly impossible to stop.

According to People, Scott passed away at the young age of 23-years-old on Saturday. Many of her friends, family members, and rowing teammates have spoken out about the wonderful person she was and the joy she brought to those around her.

“Samantha was a great leader for our program and more importantly a great person,” her rowing coach Patrick Sweeney said in a statement. “She was so well-liked by all of her teammates and had such a big impact on our program both on and off the water.”

One of Scott’s teammates, Kennidi Cobbley, spoke about her perpetually positive and happy demeanor. “She could cheer you up if you were having a bad day, and just going to practice was like being with your family and being with someone who was always upbeat and happy,” Cobbley said.

To offer a small source of comfort to Scott’s grieving family, Cobbley set up a GoFundMe page to help offset the bills from her hospital stay as well as some of the funeral costs. A portion of the money raised will also be used to help create a scholarship in her name. “They’re struggling to deal with what’s happening, and now they have this huge financial burden, and if there’s anything I can do to help, it’s just really to get the message out there,” Cobbley said.