Margaret's Story

After having sepsis several times before, Parma Corderoy’s nan Margaret sadly passed away from the condition in February 2023.

Parma is sharing her story to help raise awareness, as she prepares to take part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon next year.

Parma’s nan, Margaret, had pre-existing health conditions over the last 14 years which made her more susceptible to sepsis, including having a stoma. She raised Parma from birth, and they lived together – with Parma acting as her nan’s full-time carer. Parma said: “Sadly, this time sepsis unfortunately killed her and it was one of the most heart-breaking things to ever happen.”

Parma had spotted that her nan was exhibiting signs of sepsis, but felt like her concerns weren’t taken seriously enough by paramedics. She said:

“It was taking ages to wake her up, and she wasn’t passing enough urine at all. She was shivering and had a temperature and was also very confused.”

It took six attempts to get her nan to hospital, and Parma was initially told her nan was fine by ambulance crew. Parma said: “I keep saying to myself, if they might have come sooner she might have survived.”

By the sixth attempt to get an ambulance, Margaret was breathless. Parma said: “I still respect emergency workers but if they believed me and took my word, I think my nan would be here now. I’d just say to them that my nan had signs and you should listen to the patient’s family because me, my grandad and my mum, we lived with my nan and knew what was going on with her.”

“I’d say to other family members always trust your gut instinct because it’s always right.”

Upon arrival to A&E Margaret was diagnosed with pneumonia and sepsis, and was admitted to hospital for treatment. Two weeks later she was non-responsive, and had severe sepsis. Her PICC line was confirmed as the source of the sepsis.

Hospital staff said she was too ill to be put in a coma, with the family told to say their goodbyes. Parma said:

“I never thought I’d have to say goodbye to someone that I loved so, so much.”

“It was so hard for me because I was trying to be strong for my nan because I didn’t want her to see me really upset and crying all the time, but it was also hard to stay strong when my nan was slowly dying. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through.”

Describing her nan, Parma said: “We just had a really amazing bond together. It’s like we were the same person because we had everything in common. I could always have her as my guide. She was very kind-hearted, she would do anything for anyone and she would always put her family and everyone else before her health.”

Parma has started to see a counsellor in the wake of her nan’s death, as well as accessing the UKST Facebook support group, for peer support. She said: “They’ve helped me because people have gone through similar things to me.”

Since Margaret’s passing, Parma’s life has changed drastically. She said: “Before, I never socialised with friends because I felt guilty leaving my nan at home. Now I’ve got to start my future and sometimes that does scare me. But I think that my nan would want me to continue and be happy.”

Parma is taking on the London Landmarks Half Marathon next year in her nan’s memory, raising money for UKST. She is also looking to go back to college to train to become a nurse and help other families. Parma said: “I want to raise more awareness and show people that you should always speak to a doctor or a professional if you suspect sepsis. I just want to show my nan especially that I can still continue and I will always keep her legacy here with us.”

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