Kimmie Young


In April 2021, I got sick with diverticulitis, perforated colon and abscess the size of a golf ball on my colon. (Sepsis and Perforated Bowel) I spent multiple weeks in the hospital at various times in 2021. In July of 2021, I had my 1st surgery to remove the damaged colon tissue. When I awoke, I had a temporary loop ostomy on the right side of my abdomen. On November 1st, 2021, I went for a 2nd surgery to have the temporary loop ostomy reversed. There were some complications and I ended up with a left side ileostomy. The right one was gone.

As I was recovering in the hospital, approximately 7 days later, my vitals dropped suddenly, and I was rushed into emergency surgery. I had sepsis and I went into septic shock. (Sepsis and Septic Shock) After my surgery, I was placed in a medically induced coma. Three days later, my vitals severely dropped again, and I was rushed into surgery for a 2nd time. I remained in the hospital for 2 months. I was in a coma for one of those months. When I awoke, I had no idea what had happened. All I knew is that I was on life support and every machine imaginable was keeping me alive. I could not speak or move.

It took six plus months for just the incisions to heal on my abdomen. They were extensive. As soon as I got home, I had home healthcare come in 2-3 days a week for 2 months to change my bandages, take my vitals, and get updates. Since my discharge from the hospital (12/30/2021), the doctor visits to specialists have been endless, and expensive. Fast forward to today, 8/26/2023… I have since been diagnosed with the following: stage 3 chronic kidney disease, liver disease – NASH with fibrosis, vitamin D deficiency, anemia, carrier of the HFE hemochromatosis gene C282Y, chronic inflammation, sacroiliac osteoarthritis, insomnia, PTSD, anxiety, tremors, cognitive deficiencies, just to name a few. I am also not done with testing.

I am having breathing issues that may be due to my lungs collapsing when I was in septic shock. I struggle with pain every day and I am still searching for answers for all my symptoms. The hardest part for me is accepting who I am and my limitations as my “new normal”. This is not only my struggle, it has also been a struggle for my family. They have had to go through every ache, every pain, every step, and adjusting to the new challenges I face on a daily basis. I am thankful to Sepsis Alliance for the awareness, support, and educating survivors, families and the general public. Because of this organization, I have been able to get resources, advocate sepsis awareness with family and friends, as well as educating my own primary care provider. My doctor is a hero to me because she read, acknowledged and thanked me for sending her the letter that Sepsis Alliance provides for healthcare professionals. She continues to support me, as well as encourages me to be aggressive with my healthcare.

I had heard of sepsis prior to becoming a victim to it. However, I had no idea how deadly and destructive this illness can be. When I left the hospital, I was prepared to make a full recovery. I was prepared to live the rest of my life with a permanent ostomy and get stronger every day. What I was not prepared for were the permanent and debilitating new diseases that I now have to live with the rest of my life, however many years I have left. There was no conversation, no proceed with caution, nothing when I was discharged from the hospital. I was embarking on a very hard and difficult road and I had no idea that my work had just begun. What I thought was a road to recovery, turned out to be a difficult journey with new illness’. I wish I had been more prepared. I feel I was released from the hospital with blinders on. I truly believe that hospitals should include Sepsis Alliance pamphlets in the discharge paperwork to patients that have suffered from sepsis and septic ahock.

I found Sepsis Alliance because I was searching for answers for the new symptoms I was experiencing. My recovery was not happening as it should. I am resourceful, but not everyone is. I got lucky when I found them. I now know. I am NOT ALONE and sepsis & septic shock leaves some of us with residuals to live with the rest of our lives.

I have had some very frightening thoughts and dark days… At first, no one truly understood, as hard as they tried, they just did not get it. Now they do. I have gotten help, I am medicated, and I AM GRATEFUL TO BE ALIVE AND TELL MY STORY. I have full support from my family, friends, doctors, and Sepsis Alliance.

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