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Carol's Story

Picture of Carol's Story

At the end of April 2021, I had symptoms of a virus. Did the PCR just in case, and it was negative. So I pottered on feeling unwell and assumed it would go away. In the latter half of that week, I had a touch of diverticulitis,which I occasionally suffer. That was all. By the 30 April , however, I began shivering uncontrollably, so we called an ambulance, I remember nothing else until I woke up almost two weeks later. I spent those weeks in a coma suffering multi organ failure as a result of sepsis. It was difficult to process something so scary when I wasn't even aware I had been so sick. When I woke up, I had developed Diabetes but also, the medicines given to me to keep me alive had resulted in gangrene in my feet. I couldn't lift my arms, no strength in my body,and my organs had sustained a battering.

In August, I had to be moved to St Vincents hospital to have the toes and part of my left foot amputated, later on the tops of the toes on my right foot were removed and my right heel was nerve damaged. I left hospital at the end of August 4 months after I had come in, and I have had to attend the wound clinic twice weekly and still do. The journey has been unimaginable for my family, and I try to keep positive about my eventual recovery, which is still a while away. I will be attending rehab for a while when my feet heal and will need to have special shoes made, etc.

While I am glad to have survived this ordeal, I worry that so many do not. I would like anyone reading this to inform themselves of the terrible reality of Sepsis and the damage it can do. Very many have lost their lives, and almost all are left with life changing conditions. Please take the time to know the signs and symptoms - all I felt was unwell, but the shaking is an indicator of Sepsis. There is so much more to say about my illness, but the basic message is to be aware of the symptoms and ask if it could be Sepsis you are suffering. It may save your life or that of someone close. Go to the HSE website and look for Sepsis, there is a great deal of information and not all symptoms need to be present - I only had the shaking and general unwellness.