One Proactive Woman’s Game-Changing Fight Against Superbugs

Carolyn Cross used to be a financial analyst until she was in a plane crash, which she barely survived. She had already sent her farewell message to her three kids and husband when she managed to pull herself to a nearby exit and then pulled by strangers to safety. It was then Carolyn realized she was saved for a reason and dedicated her life to helping others. At the heart of her work is the fight against superbugs.

Suprebugs as seen under a microscope
One Proactive Woman’s Game-Changing Fight Against Superbugs

Superbugs: The Looming Threat Not Many Know About

There are many processes that threaten the integrity of the world we live in. Some more obvious than others. And while we are all aware of the detrimental effects of climate change, not many know about the real threat of superbugs. This is the bacteria that currently kills more than 700,000 people every year. Since it has developed resistance to the antibiotics doctors use to kill it, the number of people who may die because of it is expected to rise to 10 million deaths a year within the next three decades. That’s more lives than we lose to cancer, cholera, and diabetes combined.

Seeking to develop new drugs to combat that looming threat is too time-consuming, costly, and offers zero guarantees of success. Especially if we take into account how quickly the microbes adapt to the new treatments people discover.

The Solution: Photodynamic Therapy

PDT in action
One Proactive Woman’s Game-Changing Fight Against Superbugs

Also known as PDT and photo disinfection, Photodynamic Therapy uses activated photosensitizers and a light source to treat burns, macular degeneration, and certain cancers. PDT’s greatest property is that it effectively kills bacteria, fungi, and viruses regardless if they are antibiotic-resistant or not. PDT kills them and leaves human tissue intact.

PDT was first developed by emeritus professor Mike Wilson from the Eastman Dental Institute at the University College London with the goal of treating dental infections. Carolyn realized that PDT could have so many other applications rather than being restricted to dental infections alone. She’s working toward ensuring more hospitals have access to PDT. The ones who have already started using it have seen a drop of 84% of infections at surgical sites. Imagine how much PDT can help to win the fight against superbugs!