A HOSPITAL manager’s father died and her husband became seriously ill after both contracted sepsis.

Michelle Standing, outpatient manager at Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital, had previously never come across a single case of the illness, which is triggered by infection.

Now she and her family want to raise awareness of sepsis and the symptoms – and raise money for the UK Sepsis Trust.

She said: “In the lead up to Christmas 2016 my husband Ian was very poorly with what we thought was flu or a chest infection.

“I had also just had knee surgery a few days before so we were both at home.

“His illness seemed to get worse over Christmas and Boxing Day.

“His symptoms included body aches, headaches, vomiting and diarrhoea but there was no indication that he was suffering from anything other than flu.

“After Boxing Day and about five days since the symptoms first presented, we realised that Ian was very dehydrated as he’d not urinated in at least a day.

“I called 111 who encouraged us to see our GP, which we did immediately.

“After a quick examination the GP called an ambulance and rushed Ian to our local hospital where he was diagnosed with sepsis.

“During this time he had also developed a rash all over his body, he was very confused, had a high temperature and his resting heart rate was 200 bpm, so he was at risk of going into cardiac arrest.

“Although I’ve been a nurse for many years and I’m used to dealing with people who are ill and suffering from serious conditions, I was very worried, as were my family who were at the hospital with me.”

Sepsis is a serious complication which stems from an infection, where the body attacks its own organs and tissues.

Ian stayed in hospital for about a week where it was established that a strep B throat infection had caused his sepsis. He received an intense dose of antibiotics and IV fluids.

When he did return home he was very weak and tired.

For many months after contracting sepsis he did not have much energy and received regular check-ups.

Michelle said: “I was aware of sepsis and the symptoms but it was a total shock to me that Ian had contracted it through a throat infection.

“After my husband returned home and we just started getting back to normal a few short months later, in April 2017, my father became ill.

“Within three days of being diagnosed with pneumonia, he sadly passed away with sepsis.

“This was devastating to me and my family and I was in total shock that two members of my family had contracted sepsis.

“I knew that sepsis was life-threatening and he was very vulnerable. Young children are also at risk of contracting sepsis .

“Straight away I knew I needed to raise awareness of the symptoms of sepsis and the signs to look out for and I was also very keen to raise money for the UK Sepsis Trust, which is a charity now very close to my heart.

“After my father’s funeral I held a cake and coffee morning at Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital where I work and raised £700, and then in February this year I took part in a half marathon and raised £1,075.

“All the money I’ve raised and plan to raise in the future will be donated to the UK Sepsis Trust.

“It’s very important to me and my family that we provide this charity with the funds they need to continue their research into sepsis and how we can treat and prevent it.”

There are more than one million cases of sepsis each year.

If you suspect sepsis, or if someone you know is presenting with any of the below symptoms, it’s very important to seek urgent medical help right away.

Symptoms are:

l High or low body temperature

l Chills and shivering

l Fast heartbeat

l Fast breathing

l Less urine production than normal.