Last year, whilst on holiday in Greece I developed sepsis as the result of a ruptured appendix. It was only a few days into my holiday when one night I woke up with the most excruciating stomach pains which led to dizziness, a high temperature and feeling extremely nauseas . However, I thought it must have been a foreign bug I had caught after eating something earlier on because I felt completely normal and healthy during the day. These pains continued through the night and for the next day which meant that I was bed bound, hardly able to move with a complete loss of appetite and agonising lower back pain, however I was adamant that I did not want to go to hospital because I was so worried about what would happen because I was in a foreign country.
As a result of my mum growing increasingly concerned of my symptoms, including my very high temperature, she took me to the nearest Greek doctor, who then referred me immediately to hospital. As soon as I got to hospital I had my blood taken and analysed which showed my level of infection to be 35 which was an extreme cause for concern and as a result I was put on to immediate antibiotics and pain killers. I was then taken to multiple different rooms to have abdominal x-rays, ultrasound checks on my heart and an MRI scan to try and diagnose the problem. After a few hours of being in hospital the doctors had concluded that my appendix had ruptured and as a result of this I had contracted a serious infection which required me to have surgery on my lower abdomen.
However, it was not until I went into theatre that the surgeons realised the extent of the damage. My appendix had completely obliterated which had caused severe sepsis to occur and had resulted in peritonitis which meant that my abdominal organs had stuck together requiring me to have open surgery on my abdomen, leaving behind a 7 inch scar. When I eventually woke up after surgery I could barely piece a sentence together as I was so frail and weak from the surgery and constant blood tests. Because of the severity of my infection and the complicated operation I had to endure, I could not eat or drink anything for the next 5 days in order to give my body time to recover and was instead fed nutrients through the cannula. However, it was only the day after my operation that I was truly able to comprehend what had happened to me and it was at this time that I felt so awful that I truly believed that at the age of 15 I was going to die because I couldn’t take the pain anymore. Sepsis is a cruel and unpredictable condition and so many more people should be aware of its implications.
My recovery was a slow process as I eventually left Greece after nearly 2 weeks in hospital and made it home to England where I tried to get back to my normal life as I was entering my final year of secondary school about to complete my GCSE’s. I honestly believe that school is what helped me most in my recovery because before all of this had happened to me, I had set myself goals and aspirations I was determined to achieve and although I was still recovering physically and emotionally, I threw myself back into school and didn’t let what I had experienced get me down. Looking back on this time in my life, I genuinely believe that if it was not for the quick reactions of the doctors in administering antibiotics and the constant love and support from my family I would not be here today living the life I am because I now truly understand how precious life is.