Toothache Spread To Brain Of 24-Year-Old, Couldn’t Afford $27 Antibiotic

Written by Michael Lambarde on Sep. 03, 2011

A man has died at the age of 24-years-old after a tooth infection spread to his brain. The man, named Kyle Willis, is the nephew of celebrity musician Bootsy Collins. Collins’ wife confirmed that he passed away Tuesday at a University Hospital in Cincinnati.

Willis was an unemployed single father to a six-year-old girl and first went to the hospital two weeks ago after he had complained that he had a painful toothache. According to Collins’ wife Patti, he didn’t have the money or the health insurance to pay for the $27 antibiotic that he was prescribed by doctors.

After he decided that he couldn’t afford it, the toothache spread to his brain. Collins told The Cincinnati Enquirer that Willis was violent when the ambulance brought him to the hospital on Tuesday, where he died.

“He was a picture of health, a handsome, vibrant, talented, intelligent young man,” she told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I just hope this never happens to anyone else,” she added.

“We have got to make a difference with our health care,” she said. She noted that she had planned to write to President Barack Obama and Congress to tell them about the circumstances that surrounded Willis. “With people losing their jobs, they’re having to make serious choices – do I eat, or do I get my medicine? It’s crazy. And this is America.”

Bootsy Collins was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and is known for working with James Brown and the 70s band Parliament-Funkadelic.


  • IR

    That’ll teach him to be poor!

    • gary

      Congrats on being the “Douchebag of the Day!”

  • Indiecleveland

    Interesting. $27 antibiotic. He had a wife and she thinks it is tragic but didn’t give him the money for his antibiotic. It says he was a single father and then it says he had a wife. This is confusing. He had no one to loan him $27 for medicine?

  • Anonymous

    Indie, please read the article again. Willis was the nephew of Bootsy Collins. BOOTYS’ wife is quoted in the article, not Willis.

  • Tothra

    I would be curious to find out if he bought any CD’s or DVD’s during the time. Did he eat out? Did he choose to spend his money on things that should not have been a priority? Why didn’t a friend give him the money? I agree this is a tragedy. Just not a tragedy of our health care system, but of bad choices and effect.

    • Jenn

      you have clearly never had to struggle

    • gvg70

      It is a fact that our health care system sucks.

  • TomoyoDaidouji

    @ Indiecleveland: They mention and quote Bootsie Collins’ wife, not Mr. Willis’.