My wife Annaliese died suddenly from Class A streptococcus and sepsis on 21st November 2015.
She had been poorly for around a week with what we both thought was a bad bout of flu, and had been to the GP who had given a diagnosis of a virus earlier in the week. On Thursday evening she started getting severe pains in her lower limbs and rash on her arms. After two phone calls to 111 (we thought it was the right thing to do at the time) they referred us back to the GP stating it was a side effect of a virus.
An emergency appointment to the GP next day prompted us straight to the A&E before 10am the next day. To cut a long story short it appears that Annaliese was left without pain relief or antibiotics until at least 5pm that evening when a cannula was inserted to give IV medication, this was done by ultrasound due to swelling in her arms by this point a vein could not be located by normal means.
It seems the professionals were scratching their heads as to what was happening to her and still saying the problem was viral. After what seemed like an age the Consultant from intensive care came down and publicly displayed his anger at treatment being given without the vital signs being taken/ available, he said that treatment was to stop immediately and Annaliese was being taken into his care with immediate effect!
I asked the head consultant of ICU what was going on, as I was extremely confused by all the events unfolding around me, his response was ‘I am head consultant of the Intensive care unit and your wife is very, very poorly- she is to come under my care immediately’
Once in intensive care (who’s care I cannot fault) things just happened so quickly around us I didn’t have time to process the situation fully. First kidney dialysis, Ventilator and ending with Annaliese’s blood pressure dropping dramatically. The consultant told me that he was throwing everything at the problem and there was still no sign of response, he had one more drug to try and raise her blood pressure, but then he’d got nothing else to give and would not resuscitate, my whole world was crashing down around me. I decided to bring our two young sons to hospital to see their Mum and say their goodbyes, which was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make- but I’m glad I did it. Annaliese lost her fight at approx. 9pm that Saturday evening and I have felt lost ever since.
Since that tragic time over 3 months has now passed since Annaliese passed out of our lives due to Sepsis. We’ve lost a positive, generous and creative person who had so much more to give. I’m angry that she is going to miss out on so much- on our two young boys growing up, on all the plans we had as a family…
In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago we’ve been through so much, in others it seems like only yesterday. Our family & I want to make a positive difference so that we at least feel that the suffering hasn’t all been for nothing, Annaliese’s memory deserves so much more. Greater awareness of this terrible condition, along with a national awareness campaign and national register is critical to achieving this