The 24-year-old nephew of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins and his wife, Patti, died this week after a tooth infection spread to his brain.
Kyle Willis went to an emergency room near his home about two weeks ago with a painful toothache, where doctors prescribed an antibiotic and pain medication.
Willis, who was unemployed and did not have medical insurance, purchased the $3 pain medication but not the $27 antibiotic because he couldn't afford it.
The infection in his tooth apparently spread to his brain. He was combative, delirious and barely able to speak when the ambulance picked him up Tuesday, Collins said.
Patti Collins said the family is devastated by Willis' death. He was a New Richmond High School graduate and former Wendy's manager who had hoped to become a paralegal.
“He was a picture of health, a handsome, vibrant, talented, intelligent young man, I just hope this never happens to anyone else.”
Collins said she intends to write to President Obama and Congress to tell them what happened to Willis.
“We have got to make a difference with our health care,” she said. With people losing their jobs, they're having to make serious choices – do I eat, or do I get my medicine? It's crazy. And this is America.”
Is this unfortunate situation an example of the problem with American Health care?