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Catherine D.


Three years ago I went from being an active and healthy 37 year old to feeling suddenly very unwell overnight. At first I thought I had the flu. I struggled to get out of bed and was extremely weak. I saw a GP who prescribed me antibiotics but my body rejected these through sickness.

It wasn’t until 5 days later when I felt I was getting worse rather than better that I saw a different GP who referred me straight to A&E.

By the time I got to the A&E department I had to crawl in as I could no longer walk. I had turned green in colour, my eyesight had gone and I couldn’t use my arms. I felt like I was dying and later found out that I had septic shock and in fact, I was dying. (Sepsis and Septic Shock)  The doctors didn’t think I’d make it through the first night in hospital and I was told that if I hadn’t gone in when I did, 3-4 hours later I wouldn’t be here. My organs had started to shut down and my kidneys were in a bad way. I had never heard of septic shock before I went into hospital and had no idea what the symptoms were or what to look out for.

I spent 6 weeks in hospital on various antibiotics and having tests. It was then that it was discovered that the sepsis had severely damaged my heart valve which meant I had to have open heart surgery. I now have a mechanical aortic valve and have to take medication and have weekly blood tests for the rest of my life.

Post Sepsis Syndrome is very real for me with various ongoing symptoms and life can be a struggle daily. My life has changed considerably. However, I am very lucky and extremely grateful to still be here to tell my story.

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