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Sue Howe Kemp


I’m 51 and back at the beginning of the year, I had been working full time and studying for an alternative therapy course. I was looking forward a holiday I had booked for the 24th of February, knowing all the hard work would be done.

On February 12th, I started feeling run down. A few days later, I had the typical symptoms of a virus: aches, pains, feeling tired and generally unwell. But I had no cold – no sore throat or cough, so I continued with work, and just thought about my holiday and being able to chill and relax.

On the morning of the 24th, at 4 in the morning, my youngest son found me on my bed shivering, freezing cold, but with a high temperature. My eldest son was called and he took me to A&E. I was seen immediately. My temperature was 41.8 Celsius. I had bloods taken. My blood pressure was 64/40. I was placed on a paracetamol drip and did start feeling much better. The bloods came back and I was told immediately I had sepsis and was moved to resuscustation. I was there for 6 hours, and placed on drips of antibiotics and fluids.

My blood pressure wouldn’t come up and the fluids were escaping from my blood vessels. I was just bloating up. Eventually I was given meds to hold my BP and it came up to 80/60.I had a chest x-ray that revealed no definite infection but a possible pneumonia. I was taken for CT scan and while in the scanner, my breathing became a struggle. (Sepsis and Pneumonia)

I was taken to the ICU and the next couple of days were a blur. Bacterial pneumonia was confirmed. I was in the ICU for 2 weeks and I suffered with many septic spikes, and many changes of antibiotics to get on top of it. Eventually I was placed on respiratory ward for a further 2 weeks. During that time, I was still very up and down, and I received blood transfusion.

Walking again took a while and I was finally sent home. Post sepsis has been a whole new story and Sepsis Alliance has helped me so much with that. I have aches and pains, especially first thing in the morning. The anxiety has eased. I still get cold really quickly and get so tired. I’m start back to work next week and just hope with time I will get back to my old self.

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