Robert Hancock and Olga Peña—who lost her father to sepsis—may have found a way to diagnose the deadliest syndrome you’ve never heard of.

The doctor suspected 70-year-old Augustin Peña had the flu, so he sent him home to rest and drink lots of fluids. But after three days of continuing to suffer, Peña entered the local hospital in Tolima, Colombia. His entire body became inflamed and swollen, his skin stretched so tightly that his blood was visible beneath his skin, like magma bubbling at a crack in the Earth’s surface. He suffered severe diarrhea and multiple heart attacks until, one by one, his organs began to shut down. Eleven days after being mistakenly diagnosed with the flu, Augustin Peña died of a little-known illness called sepsis. (Maclean’s, 2017)