College Rower Mistook Deadly 'Forgotten Disease' For Tonsillitis And Now Her Family Is Warning Others

When she came down with a throat infection back in October of 2018 Samantha Scott initially wrote it off. Little did she know that she was actually suffering something much more serious, and now her devastated family is speaking out about this rare, terrible disease.

Samantha was a Colorado-born 23-year-old who was a senior at Kansas State University where she studied architectural engineering. She was also a 4-year-member of the school's rowing team, according to KDVR Denver.

When she started to come down with a throat infection her initial thought was that it was tonsillitis. This is a common ailment wherein the tonsils become inflamed causing fever, pain from swallowing, and sore throat. Tonsillitis isn't typically dangerous, but she was actually suffering from something far worse.

Samantha's doctors eventually discovered that Samantha was actually suffering from a rare disease known as Lemierre syndrome. This is a bacterial infection that begins in the throat before eventually spread to the lymphatic vessels and the lungs.

It's such a rare disease that a study from 2006 referred to it as "all-but-forgotten," according to Live Science. It was this lack of knowledge that proved fatal for Samantha. By the time she was diagnosed, her condition had deteriorated rapidly and she died on October 27.

Samantha's death has been a tragic loss for both friends and family. Samantha's rowing coach, Patrick Sweeney, released a statement in which he noted that Samantha was a great person who was "well-liked by her teammates," and that he and the school offered their condolences for her family.

Samantha's best friend Kennidi Cobbey set up a GoFundMe for her family and had also set up a college scholarship in her friend's name. She and Samantha's family are seeking to spread awareness about this rare, deadly disease to prevent others from going through what Samantha did.

If you are curious about the disease and you want to learn more, such as its symptoms and how and why to receive early treatment, then visit the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. This way you'll be equipped with the tools to handle the disease.


Feel free to spread the word to everyone you know about Samantha's family and friends, and the importance of keeping an eye out for Lemierre syndrome. Don't forget to leave a comment letting us know what you think as well.