This UK mother wants to warn parents about the deadly infection that almost took her 11-month-old son’s life.
In March, Abigail Wardle decided to take her baby boy, Oliver, to a medical clinic when she noticed he seemed “a bit under the weather” — and later progressed to seem “lifeless,” she told Yahoo Style UK.
She was sent home with instructions to give Oliver fluids and Calpol, a type of pain reliever for infants. However, the next day things just got worse. Oliver was rushed to emergency care and doctors raced against the clock to save his life.
“Everything was a blur,” Abigail told the outlet. “I still had no idea what was wrong with Oliver, I was just trying to hold it together as they were putting him to sleep.”
“I could hear a doctor on the phone to another hospital asking how to treat Oliver,” she added. “His hand and feet had started to go purple, and I just remember thinking he must be cold and telling them to put some socks on him.”
Doctor’s then told Abigail that Oliver had developed sepsis from an undiagnosed throat infection.
Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition caused by the body’s imbalanced response to an infection, according to the Mayo Clinic.
When a body is fighting an infection, it will release chemicals into the bloodstream. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance. This response can often damage multiple organ systems and even lead to death.
The sepsis caused severe damage to Oliver’s hands and legs. His limbs eventually turned black as the tissue died, and one leg even self-amputated when Abigail and a nurse were moving him. Doctors decided to remove the rest.
Abigail said it was a “relief” for Oliver to have them removed, and that he becasme “so happy and full of life” after the procedures.
He is now recovered and back at home, happily awaiting his first set of prosthetic legs, according to Yahoo. His mother, however, wants other parents to be aware of sepsis and teach them the signs.
“I want his story to be used to help spread awareness and teach other parents and GPs who maybe don’t have specialist pediatric training, about the signs of sepsis,” she told the outlet.
“I had no idea how ill Oliver was but if he hadn’t gone into the hospital when he did, he wouldn’t be here,” she added.
Ron Daniels, chief executive of the Sepsis Trust, told Yahoo that the disease is “notoriously difficult” to spot and “relies upon health professionals being alert to the possibility of sepsis in any patient who is deteriorating without a clear cause.”
Anyone can contract sepsis, though those with weakened immune systems, like babies, very young children, the elderly, and those with chronic illnesses (diabetes, AIDS, cancer, or liver disease) are at higher risk.
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