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Anna's Story

Picture of Anna's Story

27th November 2021, one day I cannot remember nor will I ever forget.

That was the day I walked into Wexford General Hospital and didn't come back out until January 18th 2022. No memory of the week before. Flashbacks of me having a cough, Thinking it will just go away, is what I remember. It didn't, Pneumonia, then sepsis took over, not realising how sick I was, I struggled on. Before all this I did not know what sepsis was.

I'm a 41 year old working mother of two, very rarely sick. Fit, active, enjoyed gym and exercise.

On the morning of Saturday the 27th November 2021 I gave my GP office a call looking to speak to a doctor. Because of Covid restrictions at the time I had to hold off and wait for a callback. When my GP called me back he told me to go into him straight away that he didn't like the sound of my voice. He saw me and sent me straight to Wexford general hospital. I've no memory of this day. Not knowing how much his life was going to be turned upside down, my husband sat in the car waiting for me as he wasn't allowed in. I rang his phone and told him I was being put on a ventilator. At the time I didn't know what a ventilator was but he did. He told me it was all going to be okay and that he loved me so so much. He then said a nurse took the phone out my hand and started talking to him. Told him to come straight in. If we were any later getting there, they say I would not have survived. Within an hour of arriving I was in a coma and on life support. He can remember being gowned and masked and brought to ICU to see me. Everything was shutting down on me. I had heart failure and kidney failure. Was put on dialysis, had blood transfusions. I was given my last rights. He was told to bring my kids who were 10 and 14 at the time down to see their Mammy for the last time. For their goodbyes. The nurses had me laid out, covered with blankets for the kids so it looked like I was just sleeping. Everyone would say “there's another 5 minutes she's still here”, “there's another hour she's still here”. Then I had upper body seizures. Not knowing if I had any brain activity I was moved to St. Vincent hospital for an MRI because Wexford didn't have the equipment suitable for a ventilated patient to be scanned.

After a few days in Vincent's hospital they took me off the ventilator. I lasted 3 hours off before they had to put me back on. MRI results came back looking good but wouldn't know if there was any brain damage done until I woke up. With luck on my side everything was going the right way for me. I was getting better. Couple days later doing well off the ventilator back in Wexford. I spent 30 days in all on a machine that did my breathing for me. On New Years Eve I was wheeled out of ICU and into an isolation room on a ward. I lost 60% of my muscle mass. I couldn't walk or talk. I had a catheter, a feeding tube. Slowly but surely and I can't stress enough my thanks and gratitude of the extremely hard work and dedication of all the amazing Doctors, Nurses, Physiotherapists, Nutritionist and all the staff, I got to go home on the 18th of January 2022. I've since had a few setbacks, memory loss, anxiety, and jumbled words are just a few. Physically I'm just 3 weeks post op recovering with a new hip replacement that was needed due to all the treatment I received while in ICU. But I'm Alive and I'm here to share my story to make people aware of sepsis.I was very very lucky. A miracle they say.