Beth Parrish


On Saturday October 7, 2016 I woke up feeling different…kind of in a fog. The day before, I had gone home early with a slight ache in my back. This in itself was unusual, as I never missed work. A co-worker of mine had been sick with the flu, so I thought I too, was coming down with the flu. Weeks earlier I had been treated for a urinary tract infection, which, to the best of my knowledge, was gone after completing the prescribed antibiotics. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections) Back to that Saturday, along with feeling a bit off, I noticed the tips of my fingers, toes and the left side of my nose were a grey color. I immediately showed my fiancé and he insisted we go to the ER ASAP. After some resistance, I agreed to go.

I remember walking into the ER and then being taken to triage. The nurse kept leaving the room and then returning with new blood pressure machines, insisting that something was wrong with equipment. Turns out their equipment was fine, but my blood pressure not. The rest of my story is a result of accounts from my family, as I lost all consciousness in the triage room. My adult daughters were immediately contacted by my fiancé and arrived at the hospital that morning. I was told, between the two of them, they never left my side. Unlike many of the sepsis stories I’ve read, my diagnosis was made within hours after arriving at the hospital. My family was told my organs were failing and I was in septic shock. They recommended that the rest of my family be contacted and told to get here ASAP. By the next day family members from Washington, Atlanta Alaska and California had arrived.

I spent the next two and a half months in the hospital with 50% of that time in the ICU. My chances of survival were not good. When I woke up I couldn’t answer basic questions, was unable to eat and my arms, hands and feet were charcoal black…amputations were in my future. Sepsis has absolutely changed my life! I’ve lost my legs, my right arm, three fingers on my left hand and I suffered a heart attack. (Sepsis and Amputations) Prior to getting sick, I was a successful mortgage lender; however, I am unable to return to work, as I can no longer type and have terrible problems with my short-term memory. I now require 10 hours per day of certified nursing care and struggle every day trying to accomplish the simplest of tasks. Along with all the physical and emotional challenges, I’m left with so many questions. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to find answers via the internet. A year and a half ago I’d never heard the word sepsis…now it’s an integral part of my vocabulary. (Sepsis and Post-Sepsis Syndrome)