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Lisa C.

Faces of Sepsis, Lisa C

Everything was fine, I told myself. I was 30 weeks pregnant and had the flu, that was all. My back ached and I was peeing more because I was pregnant, of course!

After a couple of nights of trying to figure out whether I had a fever or not, I started worrying that something wasn’t right. The swine flu epidemic was sweeping across the world in 2009 and I’d got it into my head that that must be what was going on.

In the morning, I asked my father to drop me off at the hospital on his way to work in the city. Struggling to reach reception, once I was triaged I was admitted immediately. No one would tell me what was wrong, I could barely sit up, I needed nurses to help me bathe and shower, I’d lost all my dignity at that point.

Lying in bed with what seemed like hundreds of pin pricks from constant blood testing and IVs, my fever peaked at 107.5F. I had to constantly have a doppler on my stomach to make sure my unborn baby was okay. I assume they wouldn’t tell me what was going on as the distress may have caused me to go into labour.

It was when an emergency alarm went and my nurse left her notes on my bed in her rush to attend another patient that I grabbed the notes to have a look. I was terrified! Risk of patient mortality: high, risk of preterm labour: high, risk of miscarriage: high.

On discharge after a week and a half, they finally told me what had happened: I’d developed a UTI likely due to my pregnancy, however I didn’t notice. (Sepsis and Urinary Tract Infections, Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth) This infection spread to my kidneys, again, I didn’t notice. That unbearable pain in my back I’d blamed on being on my feet at work all day at 30 weeks pregnant, that was my kidneys screaming out for help. I left it. I left it all until the point where it was dangerous and risking both the life of myself and my child, until I developed sepsis. The doctor said had I come in a day later then it may have been a very different ending.

We are both now happy and relatively healthy! My daughter is turning 9 years old! I’m not religious by any means but I feel so blessed to not only be alive but have a beautiful daughter which all could have been taken away too easily. She is my miracle baby.

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