Funeral Services Held For Meningitis Victim - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Funeral Services Held For Meningitis Victim

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Diana Reed, 56, died on Wednesday after receiving one of those contaminated steroid injections that sparked the outbreak. Diana Reed, 56, died on Wednesday after receiving one of those contaminated steroid injections that sparked the outbreak.

By: Heather Graf

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- Hundreds turned out on Sunday for the funeral of a woman believed to be the third person in Tennessee to fall victim to a rare form of fungal meningitis.

Diana Reed, 56, died on Wednesday after receiving one of those contaminated steroid injections that sparked the outbreak.

Friends and family chose to remember her not for how she died, but how she lived.

"Her laugh was so warm and inviting. She just lit up a room. I know people say that a lot about friends, but it was definitely true about Diana," said Matthew Ward, whose mother was Diana's best friend, and delivered her eulogy.

Her funeral came on the very same day that the CDC confirmed 27 new cases of fungal meningitis.  Nationwide, 91 people are now sick, in nine different states.  Thirty-two of those cases are in Tennessee, where the deadly outbreak began.

"Well there's so many unknowns to it that what we've tried to do is focus on Wayne and their two sons," said Pastor Josh Graves of Otter Creek Church of Christ.

Graves says Diana's death has been tough on the entire congregation.

"The word that's used for Diana all the time is tenacious," he said.  "She was a passionate person, and she never settled for mediocrity."

He says she was a devoted mother and wife.  She was also a dreamer, who, with her husband Wayne, helped start a daycare that now bears his name.  The Wayne Reed Christian Childcare Center is designed to help low-income children get a jumpstart on their education.

Making this situation perhaps even more heartbreaking, friends say Diana Reed dedicated her life to taking care of her husband, who suffers from Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease."

"They were so devoted to one another and loved each other so fiercely," said Ward.  "Their marriage is one that I liked seeing."

Her husband wanted her funeral service to be a celebration of her life.  Those who offered remarks during the service talked about Diana's signature laugh and called her a "cheerleader at heart" who would never settle for easy answers.

Diana Reed also leaves behind two sons.

She is one of three Tennesseans who have lost their lives to this rare form of meningitis that is not contagious. It's believed all three got sick after receiving a tainted steroid injection used to treat back pain.

The CDC now says those injections linked to this outbreak were given to patients starting on May 21st, 2012, more than two months earlier than previously thought.

email: hgraf@newschannel5.com

 

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