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About 19,000 people a year die after battling the superbug MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Others survive but pay a high price.

That’s what happened to Kerri Cardello, a 39-year-old from Annapolis, Md. Her long fight began on Christmas Day 2003 when she woke up feeling ill.  A high, persistent fever sent her to the hospital emergency room, but they sent her home--saying she had the flu.

Cardello just kept getting worse, and on December 30, she woke up struggling to breathe.

Michael Bennett and his father Mark Bennett were an exceptionally close father and son. Mark was a decorated WWII combat veteran, former actor and stockbroker, who lived near his family in Baltimore. He spent years enjoying the company of his son and five grandchildren, but in February of 2004 the robustly viable senior developed a flu virus. Worried that the flu was developing into pneumonia, Michael took his father to the hospital, where he showed immediate improvement – they expected a short hospital stay.

In March of 1978 a patient was admitted to the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center who was infected with MRSA, a type of antibiotic-resistant staph.