Margaret Foster


My mother died of sepsis on Tuesday, February 13, 2024, at the age of 73. She had a history of diverticulitis, but was told after her routine colonoscopy in 2023 that although she had diverticulitis throughout her colon, that she could either schedule a colonoscopy in 10 years, or she could choose to never have one again.

On the morning, of February 13, my mother called me and said she was in terrible pain and needed to go to the hospital. I rushed to her home, saw that she had a high fever, called 911, and she was at the hospital before the hour was up. In the emergency room, they gave her blood tests and decided immediate surgery was warranted. My mother was in terrible pain and begging for anesthesia. Her last words to me were that she loved me and to tell my sisters she loved them, too.

After waiting for three hours, I was called to the back to meet with the surgeon, who told me that my mother’s entire digestive system was dead and he had no idea how she was even still alive. He said there had to have been an “event” as he called it, to cause my mother’s bowel to become perforated. (Sepsis and Perforated Bowel) He could not tell me what it was. My mother was kept on a ventilator until my sisters arrived at the hospital, and then she died when we were with her.

I saw my mother at her home the Saturday before she died, and I talked to her by texting on the Sunday before she died. Nothing seemed amiss, and she did not mention falling or feeling sick. My niece spoke to her the day before she died, and my mother said she did not feel well, and that she had taken some medicine and was going to bed early.

Years before, my mother had LAP-band surgery for weight loss. I wonder if that had something to do with her death, or the previously diagnosed diverticulitis with a small abscess could have something to do with it. I guess I will never know. This is extremely painful for me and for my family.

Source: Nena Pritchard, daughter

Send us Your Story
Learn More about SepsisSupport Faces of Sepsis