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Sepsis Survivors

Being discharged from the hospital is a good day for most people, but it can also be stressful. Post-sepsis life can have challenges, especially if you have been left with long-term problems related to your illness. Some sepsis survivors recover completely and resume their lives, while others may struggle to cope, something no one expected.

Here you can find information to help you navigate post-sepsis life.

Starting in 2019, Sepsis Alliance added to the awareness efforts by launching Sepsis Survivor Week, which focuses on the survivors and the challenges they may face. Click here to learn more about Sepsis Survivor Week.

FAQ

Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section addresses many questions related to sepsis and life after sepsis. Survivors and their family and friends can find answers to questions, such as can I get sepsis again, why am I so tired, and can sepsis be prevented? You may also find our Life After Sepsis Information Guide helpful in explaining some of the issues that could last long after discharge from the hospital.

KNOW THE SEPSIS FACTS

Many researchers are working to learn more about what causes sepsis, how it affects patients, and life after sepsis. Learn more about the facts and statistics in the Life After Sepsis fact sheet.

AFTER DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL

Once you have been discharged from the hospital, it may seem that you’ve been left to fend for yourself. Discharge instructions are sometimes rushed or may be incomplete, or you may not think of the questions you need to ask. To help you with the hospital to home or hospital to rehab transition, Sepsis Alliance has put together a checklist with the most common issues that come up. Click here for the list.

We have also created a discharge kit for those being released from the hospital after COVID-19. Download the guide here.

Regaining your health after sepsis can be slow, but good nutrition can help you along the way. Learn more about nutrition after sepsis here.

LEARNING ABOUT POST-SEPSIS SYNDROME (PSS)

Many people who spend time in an intensive care unit (ICU) develop problems like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those who were treated for sepsis may develop not only PTSD, but other problems as well. You can learn more about PSS here and PTSD here.

COPING WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

Your mental health is a vital part of your overall recovery. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, depression, or any other mental health issue and you don’t know where to turn, visit our Mental Health Resources page for a list of organizations that may help you.

EXPLAINING POST-SEPSIS ISSUES TO OTHERS

If you are experiencing problems after your discharge, either physical, cognitive, or psychological, you may find it difficult to explain. To help explain post-sepsis issues, Sepsis Alliance has written letters that explain sepsis and PSS to:

CONDITIONS THAT CAN CAUSE SEPSIS

Anyone can develop sepsis, but some people are at higher risk, including sepsis survivors. Learn how sepsis is associated with various conditions, such as diabetes or cancer in our Sepsis and… library.

Updated March 25, 2021.

Video Resources

Faces of Sepsis: Survivor Panel

Presented by sepsis survivors for sepsis survivors, this webinar includes a panel discussion about life after sepsis. Three sepsis survivors will tell their stories and will answer attendee questions about their experiences with sepsis, as well as how they found purpose and returned to life after sepsis.

Septic Shock with Multiple Amputations: A Survivor’s Story

Jeremy M.

Survivor

I am a 3 time survivor of sepsis. Most recently, in 2018, I developed sepsis as a result of an infected pressure ulcer. (Sepsis and Pressure Ulcers) This last bout directly or indirectly led to 9 surgeries that necessitated spending most of 2019 in the hospital (including a colostomy), followed by another battle with bone infection that led to 4 months on antibiotics in 2020. I continue to be in recovery to this day, but I know no other option but to continue to fight and I’m not going to quit.

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Stephanie S.

Survivor, Survivor

I was admitted into the hospital in August of 2020 because I couldn’t breathe. My lungs were shutting down and I went into respiratory failure. It turns out that the cause of all of it was an abscess near my tail bone that had turned into gangrene and sepsis. (Sepsis and Bacterial Infections) I was in a coma for seven days, intimated, and had to have three surgeries to remove the infection. Now, almost nine months later, my wound is still healing and I suffer from PTSD, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares, and memory loss. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) As well …

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Robin Reyes

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

A little about me… I’m a wife, a mom, a Catholic; I was a business owner of 21 years before getting sick. Always active, I love adventure, whether traveling the world or across our great USA, climbing up or skiing down a mountain. I’m a yogi, scuba diver, health nut, I love to cook, garden, craft. I cherish nature, a place of solace and adventure, to renew my soul, to admire and give thanks for God’s great creation. From my mountains to the sea… I love life! Before getting sick, I’ve always been incredibly healthy, albeit run-down as most working …

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Heather Wargo

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

It all began on a Sunday. I had gone to the ortho dentist two days prior for dental work, to include the removal of an abscessed root canal. I was a 41 year old, mostly healthy woman and my youngest child was 6 months old and breastfeeding. Saturday evening, I began to feel as though I had picked up the flu or a bad cold… kinda achy, just tired. I didn’t have a fever, but I just felt off. (Sepsis and Dental Health) Sunday I woke up and my lower back was really sore, which I thought was strange, but …

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Taryna Widdicombe

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

After having a colonoscopy I was bleeding from my back passage. I told the doctor and he said it was perfectly normal. When I got home I had a really bad stomach pain. It felt as though my stomach had exploded. I then started feeling very cold. My husband gave me a hot water bottle and I went to bed. It was the middle of summer. I couldn’t settle and started feeling very sick, disorientated and I had no control of my functions. My husband called 999 an ambulance rushed me to hospital. I had a x-ray which showed I …

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Help Raise Sepsis Awareness

Many sepsis survivors and loved ones feel the need to help spread sepsis awareness so others don’t go through the same thing. There are many ways you can do this:

Faces of Sepsis

Share your story through our Faces of Sepsis feature. There are more than 1,000 stories from survivors and people who have lost a loved one to sepsis. Sharing your story has three initial benefits. Many survivors and loved ones feel that writing the story down and sharing it allows them to process feelings about their illness and the aftermath. It also helps others, the readers, learn that they aren’t alone.

Too many sepsis survivors think that no one understands what they’ve gone through but when they read these stories, they no longer feel so alone. These stories also show the readers that sepsis can affect anyone – their family, friend, coworker.

Host a talk

Sepsis Alliance has made available a kit called Sepsis 911, Community Education Presentation. A second one focusing on sepsis and aging is also available.

By giving talks to social groups, friends and family, school, even coworkers, you can help educate the people around you about sepsis, what it is, how it happens, and how to reduce your risk of developing it. The kit provides you with material you need for a successful talk, such as a leader’s guide (with script), a video, customizable promotional materials, surveys, and more.

Host an awareness event/fundraiser

Local awareness events are being held across the country, spearheaded by individuals like you. Whether you want to hold a Stomp Out Sepsis or Sips for Sepsis event, or anything in between, these events help raise awareness and raise funds for Sepsis Alliance, to help support the organization’s awareness efforts. Or if you’d rather do an online awareness event, that works too. Check out the host an event page for other ideas and a fundraising toolkit.

Find local events

If you are interested in participating in an awareness event but don’t feel you can organize one, check to see if there is one going on near you. Visit our events page for a calendar of upcoming events.

Give to Sepsis Alliance

Sepsis Alliance is the nation’s leading organization, working in all 50 states, to save lives and reduce suffering by improving sepsis awareness and care. As a non-profit organization, Sepsis Alliance relies on grants and donations from people like you. Every dollar counts, so no gift is too small. Many employers match donations to non-profit organizations, so you may want to check if your employer does.  Click here to give now.

Buy Sepsis Alliance products

You can find sepsis awareness products in our store. From symptoms cards to lapel pins, these products may introduce the word to someone who has never heard of it, stimulating a conversation about what sepsis is.