On 29th December 2013 my Mother. who was my best friend, died of ‘Sepsis’. I am sure many will read this and ask why this is any different to other tragic and sudden deaths and to a certain extent it isn’t; death is never easy to comprehend. The difference with my Mother’s death is that I was unaware of ‘sepsis’ before her death. I am sure many of you will read this and will be just as in the dark as I was. My mother was a very healthy woman who loved life and lived for her family. She leaves me (Fiona) and my brother and sister Luc and Fabienne, wondering how on earth this awful illness could have taken her so suddenly.
On Sunday 29th December, my Mother had all the signs of a bad case of ‘flu, or, a nasty bug. Little did I know that later that day the most important person in my life would be taken away from me by this killer condition I’d never heard of. My Mother refused any form of medical help because she (and I) were convinced she had nothing more than ‘flu. She took a turn for the worse at 5pm and, fed up of begging her if I could seek medical assistance, I called NHS Direct. My Mother was taken to A&E at 7.30pm. I was horrified to get to the hospital to be told that my mother didn’t have the ‘flu but was fighting for her life with ‘sepsis’. I was told that I needed to be prepared for the possibility that my mother wouldn’t make it. Needless to say I am writing this because she didn’t, and because two hours later my mother died.
In the days, weeks, months that passed and to this day I will never quite comprehend what happened or forgive myself for not doing something earlier and wondering whether, if I had, my mother would be enjoying life with us all today.
The more I have found out about Sepsis the more I realise how common it is and how it affects people of all ages and can be caused by an innocent infection. Did you know that Sepsis accounts for 37,000 deaths in the UK? That’s more than bowel cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer PUT TOGETHER. On average someone dies from Sepsis every 14 minutes.
In the early stages it is often difficult to distinguish between sepsis and ‘flu. However if we work together to raise public awareness of the signs and symptoms of sepsis, the UK Sepsis Trust estimate we can save at least 12,500 more lives every year.
What is in my control today is to try and raise awareness of ‘Sepsis’; which is why I am proud that ‘Red Hot Yoga’ is supporting me in raising awareness of ‘Sepsis’ with a special Bikram class at their ‘Summer Solstice event’. My Mother’s favourite time of the year was the summer, and was at her happiest being outside in the sun, so it’s poignant that the event itself is a celebration of the summer. The studio is my sanctuary and the yoga has helped me in so many ways following the death of my mother. The staff at the studio go out of their way for their members and their support over the years, and most recently which I will always be grateful for. On the day there will be Dr Ron Daniels, CEO from the UK Sepsis Trust speaking briefly about this awful condition together with a raffle in honour of my Mother as well as lots of other fun classes. I cannot wait to join in this event and I very much hope to see you there!