Save Tony Verdugo: Nightlife veteran stricken with E. coli

Tony Verdugo
Photo: Tracy Lee

It’s been a rough few months all around. Just a week after reporting the tragic accident that left nightlife entrepreneur Scott Frost a temporary quadriplegic, the Weekly is saddened to report that another nightlife personality is even at this moment engaged in a health struggle of his own.

According to the Web site, Vegas nightlife pioneer Tony Verdugo was stricken with E. coli (Escherichia coli) poisoning after the nightclub and event promoter reportedly dined at a pho restaurant in Spring Mountain’s Chinatown area. The father of two was immediately hospitalized at St. Rose Dominican where he spent most of his 15 days there on dialysis.


Verdugo was discharged on August 14, not because he is well enough to go home but, the site says, because he is uninsured.

“If he had insurance,” says sister Shawna Verdugo, “he wouldn't be home.” Healthy until this event, Verdugo will be returning to the hospital every 48 hours for 4 to 6 hours of dialysis until he is stable enough to receive a kidney from a family member assuming a tissue match can be found. “The transplant is key,” says Shawna, because “his kidneys will never fully recover.”

From his hospital bed, Verdugo makes a YouTube appeal to anyone listening to consider the importance of health insurance, especially for nightclub employees, “because you never know,” he says, “you just never know.”

Tony Verdugo - Day 11 - from

Links to the videos of Verdugo’s treatment and progress are available on the site, where friends can also make donations to offset Verdugo’s considerable treatment. Bills for his care could start at $300,000 and go up, says Shawna, depending on his body’s acceptance of a donor kidney. “It’s touching and overwhelming,” she says, choking up, of the love and support the family has received since Verdugo was hospitalized.

A series of benefit events is currently being planned by a panel comprised of colleagues Gino LoPinto, Adam Gould, Bo Karlen, Chad Pallas, and Corey Thomas.


Previous Discussion:

  • 2010 was a very good year—for Max Vangeli.

  • We talk to the drum and bass heavyweight about porn music!

  • Chew on this! Fu the “refixer” bring his future-perfect music to Vegas for the first time.

  • Get More Nocturnal Admissions Stories
Top of Story