Four years ago when I came out of a three week long coma as a result of sepsis that had escalated to septic shock and multiple organ failure I was told that I would lose both of my legs and that the tops of my fingers would be damaged.
Later I was also to find out how close I came to losing my life. As the months progressed in recovery I was told that I had lost the job I loved, this was due to the fact that at the time of my back to work medical I was in fact unfit and not capable of carrying out my duties.
In addition my wife and I lost the home we loved and had lived in for nearly twenty years because it was not wheelchair friendly and as we were unable to fund the huge alterations that were needed it was more advantageous to sell up and find another house.
Much later in my recovery I was to lose the tops of six of my fingers due to amputation and as a result lose my sense of touch. Sepsis is a dangerous medical condition that for me and my family turned out initially to be a condition that resulted in great and unimaginable loss.
However I am by nature a positive and resilient person, as is my wife Margaret and we both had to draw on all of our resources and God given strength to move forward. And move forward we have, our life has changed I am disabled as a result of something that was not my fault but opportunities have come our way to raise awareness of this silent killer Sepsis.
Such an opportunity came recently when we both took part in a live interview broadcast by BBC radio Northampton. During the interview I was asked a question that previously only Margaret and I had pondered.
The question I was asked was “do you think if this condition had been recognised earlier that you would not have lost your legs”? I wasn’t really expecting this but it’s a great question. I answered it as best I could as it does stir up my emotions.
The next day, as I reflected on the question and my answer, I realised that, while the question was aimed at me and was very personal, regarding the awareness of sepsis there could not have been a more poignant question.
You see, although directed at me, my answer should have highlighted how much has been learned about the importance of spotting the symptoms early and how much has been learned from cases such as mine.
On Friday, May 26th, 2017, the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization made sepsis a global health priority, by adopting a resolution to improve, prevent, diagnose, and manage sepsis.
This marks a quantum leap in the global fight against sepsis. New guidelines issued by NICE that’s The National Institute for Healthcare Excellence means NHS staff must begin treating patients suspected of having potentially lethal sepsis within one hour in a bid to crack down on avoidable deaths. Sometimes positive things are born from tragic events.