Steve Whitehead, a 59-year-old Englishman from Reedley, died of Legionnaires’ disease early this month. He contracted the illness while in Malta with his wife in November 2013, and became symptomatic on Dec. 1, 2013.
He collapsed while home in Billington and was taken to the ICU (intensive care unit) at the Royal Blackburn Hospital then transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital where he was diagnosed with Legionnaires’ disease. He passed away a little over a month later on January 6, 2014.
Steve Whitehead is survived by his wife, two children, and two step-children.
Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia and can be very severe. The disease is not transmittable from person-to-person and can be prevented by properly maintaining water systems.
Steve’s wife, Sue, is a former nurse and hopes to raise awareness about Legionnaires’ disease in order to save others’ lives in the future.
She said, “I want to make people more aware so they can protect themselves to their best ability. I want people to have more knowledge.”