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JR Smith

Survivor

In 2014 I had a sore throat, felt a bit swollen on the side. The GP I had at the time said they don’t prescribe antibiotics for sore throats so I went away with paracetamol.

The next 48 hours I took what he gave me every four hours but felt worse. By the weekend it looked like I had a football in my throat so my partner took me to a walk-in GP who gave me antibiotics but too late.

The very next morning, woke around 3:30, literally struggling to breathe. She phoned an ambulance, got rushed to the hospital. I still can’t thank the lovely people at the hospital because I got seen straight away, taken into a side room. The doctor/nurse (don’t remember), as I was literally dying, took a look under my tongue and instantly the room filled with doctors and nurses literally. I thought the waiting room came to me lol and I got whipped off for them to put drains in my throat.

All this time my poor partner was left in the room in tears. The next thing I remember was sitting in the first room again but I’m soaked in blood and pus as I have a drain in each side of my throat, one smack bang under my chin and one in the back of my mouth that, because I was drugged up ,didn’t realize. I pulled the drain a six stiches out of my mouth was literally laughing. They must have good meds as I didn’t feel a thing.

Then, I went in on August the 18th. I looked at the TV, screen it said the 1st of October. So this part is what my amazing partner Michaela, who sat by my side day and night for over two months, said, so the next part is her account of proceedings.

I had 15 abscesses in my throat. (Sepsis and Bacterial Infections) They burst, giving me Ludwig angina, which none of the GPs saw but is like a standout symptom of something’s very wrong. Anyway they went into my blood and the sepsis was so severe they gave me 20 percent chance of survival. So they gave me literally every antibiotic they could, even mixed them. Put me in a coma because I was struggling to fight the sepsis, so I had 6 operations on I don’t know what and died 3 times. I have scars all over my throat. The first time I died they gave me a tracheostomy, so I couldn’t talk and to be honest, it took me ages to talk again as I had complications with my throat closing. So at one point they thought I would have to have it permanently but no I wouldn’t have that.

Lost the bottom third of my right lung as the poison was melting it away (their words). Had to have a drain into my heart because obviously can’t chop bit of that off, and poison had gathered there, which was done during thoracic surgery, so have a shark bite, my grandson calls it. Two on my right side, where the drains went in to my lung and my heart. Got out the hospital the end of October after literally begging, pleading, forcing myself to try and walk, trying to sing with my hole in my neck.

So there we go. I’m back so got out the hospital, complete bed rest. OK, after two days, my right leg looked gigantic, quite painful and very red thrombosis. During the saving my life chapter, they were so busy saving my life, they completely forgot about the flight socks (I call them) so back to hospital for another 3 weeks, then home for real. I was so scared being out in the real world and everything seemed so fast.

Since 2014 still can’t get around so in a disabled bungalow and had thrombosis another 5 times, cellulitis every couple of months, severe PTSD where I go to sleep here and wake up in hospital, spend the day there, go to sleep and wake up here, so very tired. Now have severe asthma due to my missing lung. Have spasms everywhere you can imagine. Put on 10 stone as my mobility is rubbish and COVID, so now have diabetes, anxiety outbursts if I do feel anxious and now, as I write this, I have just been diagnosed with epilepsy and to be fair, forgot some of it. Oh yeah, bad memory which I found out after doing research myself that I may have P.S.S which I don’t think the whole medical world is aware of or the just haven’t the time to research themselves.

But as I fight an uphill battle to get back to who I was, even though it may not be possible, doesn’t stop me trying. Every day I wake I am blessed to have another day so KEEP FIGHTING It may be scary, it may not happen, but try. The worst thing about losing your life, so to speak, is not trying to get it back. SEPSIS IS SCARY, LIFE CHANGING, HORRIBLE, UGLY illness but as a doctor said to me in the early days, “you’re still here.” Some people are not that fortunate and I thought, you hypocrite, but he was right, so if you’r ereading this and haven’t fallen asleep yet, keep fighting because YOU CAN STILL LIVE even if not the way you did before. My love and prayers go out to anyone unfortunate enough to get sepsis but KEEP FIGHTING !!!

 

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