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Parents Challenge Accreditation of School Where Son Cut Arm in Sepsis Death

By Katie Honan | June 14, 2017 10:40pm
 Rory Staunton's family and classmates place flowers in the fence along the field renamed for him after he died.
Rory Staunton's family and classmates place flowers in the fence along the field renamed for him after he died.
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DNAinfo/Katie Honan

JACKSON HEIGHTS — The parents of Rory Staunton, who died of sepsis after cutting his arm in gym class, have filed a complaint to challenge The Garden School’s accreditation.

Ciaran and Orlaith Staunton announced Monday that they’ve filed the formal complaint with the New York Association of Independent Schools, the association that oversees the private school on 76th Street between Northern Boulevard and 34th Avenue.

The Stauntons have been in litigation with the school since their 12-year-old son died in 2012, refusing settlements that would have required them to remain quiet, they said.

“At every step of this very painful journey that began the day Rory returned home from Garden School with a scraped elbow, our primary goal has been to do everything we can to avoid another family suffering the untimely and unnecessary loss of a family member due to sepsis,” they said in a joint statement.

On March 28, 2012, Rory Staunton cut his elbow diving for a basketball at gym class. He wasn’t sent to the nurse; instead, his teacher applied two bandages, his parents said.

That night he woke up complaining about a pain in his leg, and woke up with a 104 degree fever. He visited his pediatrician, who said it was a stomach virus.

But days later he was in the intensive care unit, and died on April 1 from sepsis, which was contracted through the cut in his arm.  

In his memory, his parents began the Rory Staunton Foundation for Sepsis Foundation, with a goal of having the illness diagnosed faster for better treatment.

They've expanded their mission across the world, but they still hoped to enact change at their son's former school.

Litigation has been a way to force the school to evaluate “whether and how it maintains a clean and safe environment for students,” Ciaran Staunton said.

They also hope to improve the way teachers and faculty treat injured students.

A representative for the school did not respond for comment.

The NYAIS also would not comment on an open case.