Widow Of Meningitis Victim Hopes Lawmakers Keep Their Promise - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Widow Of Meningitis Victim Hopes Lawmakers Keep Their Promise

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by: Heather Graf

ALBNAY, KY -- A senate committee investigating the meningitis outbreak has now sent letters to the boards of pharmacy in all 50 states.  It's the first action we've seen since last week's congressional hearings, but is it enough?

NewsChannel 5 took that question to a local woman who's found herself right in the middle of the controversy.

Joyce Lovelace's husband was among the first to die from fungal meningitis, and the reason she did not hesitate when asked to testify before lawmakers in Washington.

"Throughout this whole thing, my husband died for no reason," she said.  "It was so useless.  I felt that if I could put a face on that statistic, then maybe it would carry more weight."

So far, 490 people have been sickened, and 34 have died. Tennessee has the most deaths, at 13.

It was last Wednesday when Joyce sat before a congressional sub-committee, and told the heartbreaking story of her husband's death.

Eddie Lovelace was a circuit court judge in Kentucky.  At 78 years old, he walked three miles a day, and was completely healthy.  That all changed after he got three of the tainted steroid injections produced at the New England Compounding Center in Massachusetts.

Joyce says lawmakers told her last week they would make sure Eddie's death was not in vain.

When she learned they've already sent letters asking some tough questions to the boards of pharmacy in all 50 states, Joyce says she felt a small sense of relief.  She says lawmakers appear to be keeping their word.

"I'm pleased they are moving on it," she said.  "It is such a tragedy nationwide, I don't see how they cannot act on it, and these congressmen promised me they would fix it, and I believe them."

Joyce says her husband was always the public speaker in their family.  She felt compelled to go to the nation's capital to be his voice.

email: hgraf@newschannel5.com

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