SEPSIS can strike at any time and at any age. Jack Godfrey was just one week old when he was diagnosed with sepsis in November 2017.
Thankfully, Jack survived and is now a thriving two-year-old but for a week after his diagnosis his devastated mum, Emma, and dad, James, lived with the agonising prospect that he might die.
Jack was at home and was feeding well and very content when James became concerned because he seemed constipated. Neither he nor Emma had any idea Jack was in danger from sepsis.
Emma, 34 from Gravesend in Kent, said: “Jack didn’t have the normal signs of sepsis that are publicised on posters, the red book on children’s health or on sides of ambulances but James got me to call the doctors just to get him checked.
“Luckily the doctor saw us within the hour and at first spoke to us about laxatives. He then asked us if he could just check Jack over. He checked Jack’s temperature and heart rate and found them both to be high.
“He then went onto his computer and made a phone call, told us Jack had suspected sepsis and that we should take him to hospital. He advised us that he was going to call an ambulance in order for Jack to be seen quicker. We were then blue-lighted to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford.”
During six days in hospital Jack had a lumbar puncture and was given two different types of antibiotics and Paracetamol.
Emma said: “Jack was very poorly and his infection markers were very high. Everyone was devastated. My 9-year-old, Daniel, was cared for by his nan to let us concentrate on Jack. All of our family were so supportive and tried not to show us how worried they actually were.
“We were helped to remain strong through it all because of their support and knowing that the doctors and nurses were doing their very best. The nurses also made sure we had some time out to help prevent us from getting ill too because of the worry.”
Emma was on maternity leave so returning to work was not an issue and James’s employer was also supportive, extending his paternity leave by a week.
She is now urging people to learn about sepsis and its dangers and to support Sepsis Research so more people know the symptoms and the urgent need for treatment.
She added: “The nurses told us at the end of Jack’s stay in hospital how ill he actually was.
“We were so distraught due to not knowing enough about sepsis and to be honest we still don’t to this day. We were in the position that we had both planned what would happen if Jack didn’t make it but luckily those plans didn’t have to come into action.
“Jack is doing really well now and is a strong, cheeky little boy but I still get very nervous every time he seems under the weather.”
Unfortunately, Sepsis doesn’t stop at Christmas time, however with your support, we can continue to fund vital research to help improve sepsis diagnosis and treatment.
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