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89 Seaward Street, Glasgow, G41 1HJ

At 25, I had not long become engaged had begun planning my wedding. I was enjoying life and my job working with children in a nursery.

On the morning of Wednesday, April 13th 2016, I woke up with the most terrible flu, cough and sore throat. I had never experienced such illness – it was horrific.

The days went on and by the Friday I made an emergency appointment at my GP. After a car journey there I was told I had a bad cold and had to take plenty of Paracetamol and rest so home I went and back to bed.

Saturday night came and my temperature was through the roof. I remember sleeping naked on top of the covers with the windows wide open – my fiancé couldn’t even share a bed with me as I was too hot. But it was Paracetamol and rest like the doctor said.

On the Sunday morning I couldn’t take it. I knew there was something not right. I texted my mum and asked her to call NHS 24 as at this point, I had no voice at all. I remember lying next to her as she answered questions about how I was feeling. This was at 10.30am and I said jokingly to her “I feel like I’m dying”. 

I was given an appointment at 7pm at the out of hours doctor around 30 minutes from my house although I live minutes from a hospital. I don’t remember much from this point on.

I remember standing up ready to leave to go to the doctors and soiling myself. I remember hanging my head out the car window to cool down. I remember not being able to sit in the doctor’s office as I was too warm. I was unable to walk and barely conscious.

The doctor advised my dad to drive me to the hospital – around 30 minutes away from the doctor in the opposite direction from my home – as she believed I was dehydrated and needed to be put on a drip.

On arriving at the hospital, I believe they had picked up on the notes sent that I may have been suffering from sepsis and they had a space set out for me and a drip ready. They did not think; however, I would be arriving with minutes to live.

A nurse took of my shoes and I remember my legs being purple. This is when it all got a bit crazy. People began running around – lights were flashing my clothes were being ripped from my body and I had tubes coming from all over my body. I remember a nurse saying to my mother “we will do everything we can”.

The next few days were touch and go. On Wednesday the 20th due to aspirating I arrested. I was put in a coma and a CT scan showed a mass is my left lung. I had severe pneumonia and an infection in my chest.

I have a lot more details of my two weeks in hospital and I still suffer from the trauma, having nightmares and anxiety over simple things. I have lost faith in my family doctor as after my episode when I spoke to him about my feeling I was told “to move on with my life”.

I am very lucky to be alive and not to have lost limbs but I feel people need to understand the mental state that is left after this kind of ordeal especially for employers, family and friends. 

My life has completely changed since I became unwell although I wouldn’t say it is a bad thing as I believe it has given me a better outlook on life. But it is so important that people are understanding of the aftermath of what sepsis does to a human body both physically and mentally. 

Post Author: admin

3 Replies to “Lesley’s Sepsis Story”

  1. So brave to share your story. I watched on as I almost lost my daughter to sever sepsis she was 22mths old at the time. The psychological damage caused to patient and family during trauma should not be underestimated. I suffered anxiety for such a long time and thankfully when I went to my GP three months after her coming home from hospital he was very understanding and immediately gave me medication to help with the anxiety.
    So much respect for people sharing their stories to raise awareness x

  2. A day I don’t think any of us will forget when coming into work to being told what was going on and having to act normal for the kids that’s day. And also for kids n parents that kept asking were you where as the weeks went on. But lucky we all had good news in the end after you fought a hard long road.
    Good for you for sharing your story hunni. Well done. ❤️ Xx

  3. Hi Lesley, I was in hospital ( not sepsis related) when I read your mum’s post on the schnauzer site asking everybody to pray for you as you were in a coma. I immediately contacted your mum to say I totally understood what was going on as I was a sepsis survivor from 2011. Wont go into all the details but mine developed from pancreatitis and I spent 12 weeks in Glasgow Royal and the RAH in Paisley. I try not to think of my experience too often as it scares me now . It didn’t scare me at the time as I was too ill to think. What I’ve been left with is arthritis in all my joints, yes like you I regard myself as lucky as I didn’t lose limbs, however in the past two years I’ve had two knee replacements, surgery on one set of toes, hip replacement coming in January and then toes on other foot tobe sorted. I sincerly hope that after all that I can finally put my sepsis to bed. Take care and stay strong xx

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