Maile Le Boeuf, raising awareness through her personal story of survival
Maile Le Boeuf gave birth to her second child, a girl, on May 28, 2015. She was discharged home, but not long after, she began feeling ill. She steadily got worse over the next few days, eventually feeling like she was dying. Maile had contracted an infection and went into septic shock. After being in a medically induced coma for two and a half weeks, Maile began recovering. It’s been a slow, long process and she has been left with constant reminders of her illness, from the scarring and pain to anxiety.
Since her recovery, Maile has become a dedicated sepsis advocate, helping spread sepsis awareness, particularly among mothers and pregnant women. We can call on Maile to speak on our behalf at any time. She tells her story to the public, to help them understand the impact sepsis has on a patient and her family not just during the illness, but after, as well. “All I can ever think about [in terms of sepsis] is the fact that I had never heard of sepsis when it happened to me,” she explained. “I was a 37-year-old, well-educated woman. I had never heard of sepsis – and if I had never heard of it, how on earth would the majority of the population know about it?”
Part of Maile’s efforts also involves educating healthcare professionals. “I really hope this has an impact on them,” she said. “I really hope the medical community puts better protocols in place to catch sepsis earlier. I think we really need a change with patient care. So, I just really hope that between raising awareness for patients and the medical community that this creates a situation where people are more aware of it, doctors are more aware of it, and everyone’s paying attention and taking things seriously earlier on.”
Maile has also organized and participated in sepsis awareness events, such as the Almeda Salutations for Sepsis, a 90-minute yoga class that was dedicated to sepsis survivors. Her tireless efforts take a lot of time, but she gives that time willingly and without reserve. It is for these reasons that Sepsis Alliance is happy to announce that Maile Le Boeuf has been named a 2019 Sepsis Hero.
Maile was on vacation when she received word that she was a Sepsis Hero. “I was totally shocked,” she said. “I was totally shocked and honored, and incredibly happy, but very humbled.” She continued, “I should have died. It was such a miracle that I survived the level of shock that I was in. So, working with Sepsis Alliance and then being honored as a Sepsis Hero, it definitely brings a sense of purpose to everything I’ve gone through.”