This is Melissa’s story,
Melissa was a healthy, bright, funny, beautiful 18-year-old. She had a passion and skill for foreign languages, achieving grade A at A level in French and German. She had successfully gained a place at the University of Birmingham, to study for her modern languages degree studying French, German and Spanish.
In Oct 2014 Melissa embarked on this exciting new chapter in her life, moving into her university flat, she was loving life and managing to balance her studying whilst doing what every healthy teenager loves to do, going out to party and socialise with her new friends. Melissa had her future planned, her course was for four years, spending a year of that working or studying abroad. She then planned to hopefully work abroad. Little did we know how cruel life can be and how quickly that it can be ripped away.
Melissa was returning home in the December of 2014 for Christmas and had a month off. During this time a routine operation had been planned to resolve a long term condition Melissa had been suffering with. Whilst a fairly rare condition it wasn’t something that was serious and routine day case surgery usually resolved the problem. Melissa returned home on the 16th December, she was full of life and looking forward to spending time with her family, boyfriend and old friends over Christmas. None of us had any major concerns over her planned surgery.
On the 16th December Melissa went into hospital for her surgery, apparently all went well. She was kept in overnight for observations and discharged the following day. Melissa was quite tired and not quite herself, the after effects of the general anaesthetic and surgery, we all thought. A few days after however Melissa was obviously very unwell and had to be admitted as an emergency back into hospital. She had suffered some major complications from the surgery and needed emergency surgery.
Melissa had emergency surgery and was taken to ITU where she was kept sedated and underwent further surgery to try and resolve her condition.
Whilst Melissa’s condition was stable she remained seriously ill and was kept in an induced coma, but throughout we all tried to remain positive. However, concerns were raised when Melissa just wasn’t responding when the Drs tried to bring her out of her coma. Eventually a scan devastatingly revealed that Melissa had developed sepsis, the sepsis had gone to Melissa’s brain and caused severe brain damage. Despite various courses of treatment, the outcome was irreversible and we had to face the worse decision every imaginable.
On the 1st Jan 2015 Melissa’s life support machine was turned off leaving us and many others absolutely devastated.
We are determined to ensure Melissa’s memory lives on and so we, her family and friends, have committed ourselves to raising money for charity in her memory. This began in sept 2015 with Melissa’s dad Errol and her brother Oliver, running the Robin Hood half marathon. This was followed by a larger group of us running the half marathon again in sept 2016, this group including family and many friends, Sepsis UK was our chosen charity.
In April Melissa’s cousin, Simone is taking on the challenge of running the London marathon again in memory of Melissa and again for Sepsis UK. Raising awareness of this life threatening and often undetected condition, is vital. Sepsis can affect anyone at any time and can cause devastation. Please help us and support Simone, in Melissa’s memory, to help raise awareness of sepsis, to try and stop families going through what we had to. Thank you.