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.