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Therese D.

Survivor

On December 19, my son was born after an incredibly smooth and quick labor. All signs pointed to me being able to bring my Christmas baby home the following day. I would never have believed you if you had told me what my family and I had in store.

Within just a few hours of delivery, I felt cold and shaky. (Sepsis and Pregnancy & Childbirth) This being my second baby, I knew something felt off. I spent the entire night like this, shaking uncontrollably. I awoke the next morning and fainted, blue lips and a BP of 64/44. Heart rate 132. You just got up too fast, everyone said. You’re dehydrated, they said. Later that evening, my stomach began to hurt. Normal, everyone said. I begged for people to listen to me. I felt like I was dying. I was kept 3 days and released.

Within 12 hours of being home, my chest felt like a brick was on it. I could barely walk or speak. My stomach ached. This is not normal, I knew. So I went to my PCP thinking I maybe had pneumonia. She did an EKG and immediately rushed me to the ER, where I was admitted to the ICU for 2 types of strep A infections and sepsis.  (Sepsis and Group A Streptococcus) If not for my PCP, and her quick care and action, I would have been dead.

My infection raged, with the original course of medication not working. Worse I got as the sounds of the ICU burned into my memory. And as if our nightmare couldn’t get any worse, my 5 day old son developed skin blisters and ended up back in the hospital, just 2 floors below me, for a Strep A infection that he likely caught during delivery. (Sepsis and Children)

We were incredibly lucky. Our family was reunited just a few hours before 2019 turned to 2020, but our lives will never be the same. It took me near 2 months to walk normally without pain, and I still am being treated for multiple issues stemming from sepsis. I have so many questions that will never be answered. The PTSD from it all is so real and I wonder if it will always be with me. (Sepsis and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)

I share my story for two reasons. It gave me so much comfort to read others stories in my early days of my recovery. Secondly, if you know something is off, you are probably right. You know your own body and are your own best advocate, so be sure your voice is heard and you follow your instincts.

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