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Natalie Demetrios

Survivor

In April 2017 I went in for a routine day procedure to see if I had endometriosis. (Sepsis and Surgery) I was sent home that night, little did I know they had perforated my bowel during the surgery. (Sepsis and Perforated Bowel)

After going back to emergency the next day, I was sent home with a script for pain killers. My pain was off the chart. 6 hours later I was in an ambulance and rushed back to emergency. After 12 hours of tests, a spike in heart rate and a code blue, I was finally sent into theatre and had an emergency laparotomy. 52 hours after the original operation, I had developed sepsis and went into septic shock. They found a 5cm bowel perforation.

After the surgery I woke up in ICU. I was only allowed to have ice blocks for 5 days. No water, no food. I spent a week in ICU and then 2 weeks on the ward. I was then sent home. Unfortunately I developed a 10cm abscess 6 weeks later and had my 3rd surgery only this time they didn’t stitch me back up, it was left open to monitor any infections. It took 5 months for the wound to recover. 5 months of staying at home. Not being able to move, relying on my partner to dress me, feed me and wash me. Three years later and my wound has healed and I no longer have abdominal separation. Post sepsis syndrome has effected me just as much if not more than the physical scar itself. Anxiety, panic attacks, fatigue, nightmares, impaired cognitive function and PTSD are all daily battles. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) But at the end of the day, statistics say I should have died, but I didn’t. I’m alive, and so determined to get my life back to what it was before sepsis.

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