She rushed him to the hospital but by the time they arrived at the ER, Ryan’s legs were numb. Frankie had to carry her 6’2” grown son into the hospital as she screamed for help. As he was rushed through the ER, multiple doctors and nurses worked on him. He was hypertensive, he had a heart rate over 185, and shortly thereafter began to vomit blood. A few hours after his arrival at the hospital, Ryan’s heart stopped. When it started of its own accord, Ryan’s father had a chance to tell him he loved him. Ryan replied “I know” before his heart stopped once more. He died at 10:53 a.m., June 22, 1998 with meningococcemia. Ryan was Frankie and Bob’s only child.
Since his death in 1998, Frankie has devoted her life to her organization started in Ryan’s memory – Meningitis Angels. This organization brings together survivors of meningitis and families who have lost loved ones to this disease, and they work together to save lives by preventing bacterial meningitis through educating the public on the disease and the vaccines to prevent it. Please visit Meningitis Angels for more information. For additional information on meningococcal disease and the MenACWY and MenB vaccines, visit our Vaccines and Diseases page.