Community Rallies for Stricken Ritz-Carlton Chef


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Matthew Murphy, executive chef at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, is fighting the sudden affliction of a rare and severe blood condition. Murphy was rushed to Ochsner Medical Center on Friday and admitted to its intensive care unit, where he is now being treated for DIC, a life-threatening condition that prevents a person's blood from clotting normally.

Murphy and his wife Alicia welcomed quadruplet daughters late in 2007, and the Web site they set up to tell their family's story is now being used to post public updates on his struggle.

Financial donations are being accepted at any Capital One Bank branch through the Matthew J. Murphy Donation Account #2077720319.

People may also donate blood in Murphy's name at the Ochsner Blood Bank, located on the first floor of the Ochsner Medical Center, 1514 Jefferson Highway.

The Ritz-Carlton is planning a benefit for Murphy on June 14. The benefit will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the hotel's grand ballroom and will feature cooking demonstrations and food samples from Murphy's chef friends from across Louisiana and a silent auction of items from Ritz-Carlton properties and local businesses. The suggested donation and other details will be announced soon.

Murphy, a native of Ireland, worked as sous chef under the late Jamie Shannon at Commander's Palace before joining the staff at the Ritz-Carlton in 2002. He oversees the hotel’s signature restaurant, Mélange, as well as its other culinary operations.

-- Ian McNulty

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