How Can You Help?
Share your StorySupport UsGet Resources

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. To be held each year during the second week of February, in 2020 Sepsis Survivor Week will be February 9th to 15th. 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.

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 situations, such as natural disasters, in our Sepsis and… library.

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

Lynda Martin

Survivor

My story is one of survival, and I count myself fortunate. My story starts with my mother’s illness, and subsequently with my brother’s. Their stories are not as happy, but provide a necessary backdrop to mine. In October 2014, my mother was diagnosed with a kidney infection caused by stone that could not be removed due to advanced scoliosis. After having tried to insert stents, the urologist decided that her anatomy made any attempt to remove the stone to dangerous. He decided to insert a nephrostomy tube as a permanent solution for draining her left kidney. In December she was …

Read storyView All Faces

Isobel Garnett

Survivor, Survivor

My husband died in May this year after a battle with lung cancer. It took a lot of fighting with our health service to get him treatment and a diagnosis it was a nightmare for both of us especially him. This went on for a few months then he got finally diagnosed with lung cancer but in the meantime he got no treatment because they did not know what stage he was at. He finally got his results and was stage 4 lung cancer. The only treatment he got was antibiotics then four week later he died at home in …

Read storyView All Faces

Elizabeth Spencer

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

On January 26, 2018 I woke my husband up because I was having consistent contractions. I was 39 weeks pregnant and our son was finally trying to make his arrival. We headed to the hospital to begin the best day of our lives. After arriving, we were admitted to labor and delivery. A few hours passed and I opted to have an epidural. My blood pressure dropped and my heart rate was sky high. My midwife administered meds to get my BP up since this is something that can happen after having an epidural. The medication did not work so …

Read storyView All Faces

Leslie Grogg-Tafoya

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

I, by the grace of God, am a sepsis survivor. From December 10th to December 19th, I fought in the hospital for my life. I remember body aches hitting me out of nowhere one evening after my son’s band concert. I thought I had the flu, so I started taking Vitamin C. I kept thinking it was so strange. I still had my appetite, which wasn’t normal for me any other time I had the flu. I waited on the couch in misery for three days so I didn’t get anyone else sick until I finally called an ambulance. The …

Read storyView All Faces

Barbara Widder

Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor, Survivor

It was March of 2010. I started not feeling right on a Thursday night and decided that I would go in to work early on Friday morning to do some payroll and leave before everyone got there to not share whatever I thought I was coming down with. I didn’t feel well over the weekend and it seemed like the flu. My scalp tingled, I had a headache, body aches and just wanted to sleep. I was a healthy 45-year-old and didn’t smoke or drink. By Sunday afternoon my husband told me he should stay home because I didn’t look …

Read storyView All Faces

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.