Overwhelmed by messages after posting some stories on Instagram to raise awareness of Sepsis, I thought it was only right to delve into why this is such an important issue for me to be involved with. I'll try to keep it brief...
Some time ago, I remember watching the most heartbreaking video going round on Facebook of a mum holding up signs explaining how she had lost her baby boy to Sepsis. At the time I had never even heard of it, let alone recognise the symptoms.
I later found out that the sign lady was Melissa Mead (now MBE), mother of William, a beautiful baby boy who sadly lost his life to sepsis at just over a year old. Fast forward a couple of years and after an horrific birth, Rory Alexander was born into the world and although I was able to hold him straight away, it wasn’t long before he was whisked away due to his infection markers being high. I’m sure anyone that has had a baby will agree that labour and the following few minutes and hours are much of a blur, so I don’t remember exactly what happened, except that my tiny baby boy was making a strange grunting sound and the consultant wasn’t happy with that (particularly as I had tested positive for Group B Strep in both pregnancies).
What I do know is that we were blissfully unaware of the seriousness of it all and as terrifying as it was to see our newborn hooked up to all sorts in an incubator, we knew he was absolutely in the best place. After many tests, observations and intravenous antibiotics, we were allowed to take out darling Rory home after a few days and instructed to bring him back to NICU if we had any concerns.
Three weeks later, we were out for some drinks with friends to say ‘Goodbye’ as they were moving up north, and I kept shivering and then feeling warm. I put it down to being in a hot pub during a cold December day. But a few hours later and I was struggling. I had a raging fever, was getting confused with names and just knew that something wasn’t right. However, I’m not really one for making a fuss about stuff so I went to bed while Charlie looked after the kids. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night. Every part of me hurt, I still had a temperature and I honestly felt like I could just die. But I felt like I was being over dramatic so I coyly phoned the maternity desk and asked for some advice.
They told me to go straight in and I was promptly whisked off for tests and as I began to throw up I was informed that I wouldn’t be going home any time soon. I was also told that if I had waited much longer, it might have been a different story. Sepsis again.
I have no idea if Rory and I both contracting sepsis is just a coincidence or if there’s more to it but what I do know is that we are the lucky ones. I cannot thank the staff at North Middlesex Hospital for their prompt and efficient treatment. They are truly amazing. And thank you to Melissa for all the incredible work she does to raise awareness of sepsis. She does her little William proud every single day.
Please check out The UK Sepsis Trust to find out more about the symptoms of sepsis but please don’t wait for all of the symptoms to show. If you feel like something is not right then see someone as soon as you can.