“I owe my life to the care and diligence of staff at Walsall Manor Hospital.”
Shelfield grandmother Ann Biddulph contracted sepsis while ill with a water infection and deteriorated so rapidly after being admitted to Walsall Manor Hospital last month that she can barely remember what happened.
“But in spite of being so poorly I can recall that someone was very regularly checking on me,” the 67-year-old explained. “I can remember voices telling me what they were doing and I now know that it was staff keeping an eye on me and doing their observations.”
Ann, who was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia 18 years ago but is in remission, initially sought help from her GP and was prescribed antibiotics for a water infection.
“I started to take them but a day in I was feeling really under the weather and wondered if it was the side effects of the antibiotics. As I have leukaemia I have to be careful about the medication I take so I went back to my doctor and started a different prescription.
“By the Saturday morning I felt really unwell. I had no interest in doing anything which is unusual for me as I like my routines such as doing crosswords and Sudoku. And my temperature was high. My daughter was concerned about me and we called NHS 111 and an ambulance was sent out to me initially. My observations were Ok but the paramedics were concerned about me and arranged for the Rapid Response team to take over.
“They took a blood sample and said they’d send an ambulance out later and when the paramedics came my temperature had spiked again and I kept shaking. When I arrived at A&E the staff dealt with me very quickly and they told me they were concerned that I had certain pointers for sepsis so I was started on antibiotics. I was moved to AMU (Acute Medical Unit) and the following day, Sunday, I had got up, washed and dressed and had breakfast but remember feeling so very tired. My sleep had been poor over the days leading up to me being taken ill and I just thought I was over tired.
“I lay on the bed and completely lost the next couple of hours which is when I deteriorated. When I came round I was aware of various tubes and the like and I was told I had become very ill. It’s frightening at how quickly sepsis can develop and I know I owe my life to the care and diligence of staff in A&E and AMU. They obviously kept checking me and it’s thanks to them that I’m now at home getting on with my life. I can’t speak highly enough of them.
Ann, a retired office worker, said she hoped that telling her story today, Walsall Sepsis Day, would also help to raise awareness around sepsis - also known as blood poisoning – an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.
“It’s just as important for us ordinary people to be aware because if my daughter hadn’t insisted I call NHS 111 I could well have deteriorated at home and treatment might have been too late.”