My husband, Mario, was an avid triathlete and runner, who one day in 2013 sprained his ankle during a morning jog. In the days that followed, his foot did not improve, and eventually, it swelled to the point he could not place any weight in it, and began suffering from a fever and a general feeling of malaise. Despite displaying classic symptoms of having a septic joint, his doctor dismissed his symptoms repeatedly as those of the flu, and said delay (which lasted for days) made it possible for my husband to develop sepsis. By the time we reached the ER, my husband was in full septic and toxic septic shock. (Sepsis and Septic Shock) At that time, the specialists said he was at a 95% chance of dying.
After almost five months of hospitalization, my athletic husband was no more. He lost portions of all his limbs, and he developed a rare type of paralysis called critical illness polyneuropathy that has bound him to an electric wheelchair. (Sepsis and Amputations, Sepsis and Paralysis) Despite this, my husband is an athlete at heart – and little by little he has gained enormous strides in his recovery. His case is a perfect example of how even the fittest and healthy are not exempt from experiencing sepsis or any of its devastating consequences, and how it is essential to advocate for yourself when you feel abnormally sick and your physician dismisses your symptoms without doing any testing.
We believe that every hospital should have a display for patients to quickly identify symptoms of sepsis, instead of the many Ebola signs that are currently in place – an extremely rare disease that kills just a fraction of those that perish from sepsis- and most importantly, that everyone should have a chance at healing and rehabilitating after experiencing such a terrible ordeal.
Source: Ludmila P (spouse)