‘It can happen to anyone’: Sepsis survivor says look out for signs
AT the age of 19 Ellie Le Var was healthy, working in a gym and the last person who would expect to be struck down by a potentially deadly illness.
But after developing sepsis following tonsillitis in 2014, her world was turned upside down to the point where she was lucky to survive.
After going to the Emergency Department and being placed in a coma she was flown to Southampton and spent three months in hospital battling for her life.
Sepsis is an infection that leads to the death of 52,000 people every year in the UK. It is the body’s over-reactive response to infection and, if untreated, it can result in death.
Ahead of World Sepsis Day tomorrow, the former gym receptionist who now works for the States, is urging people to look out for the signs of sepsis before it is too late.
Recalling her story, Ellie said: ‘I got tonsillitis and it just got worse and worse.
‘I was taken into A&E a couple of times and it got really bad and then I was taken to intensive care and sedated.
‘My lungs had filled with infection which then spread throughout my body and I became septic. They decided that the only option was to fly me to Southampton.'
‘I spent about two to three weeks in a coma. Then I came back onto the high-dependency unit. In total, I was in hospital from February to the end of April.
‘I’m lucky, it was very bad. I was fit and healthy and then a month later I couldn’t stand.’
It took Ellie, now 25, two years of physiotherapy to regain her strength as she lost four stone from being in bed for so long.
She lost her hair and so much muscle strength that she struggled to walk.
Having now fully recovered, she admitted she has a different perspective on life and ahead of World Sepsis Day.
She said: ‘I’m back to normal now and I have a different outlook on things. I’m more positive about things because it was touch and go.
‘I would 100% urge people to look out for signs, because it can happen so quickly.
‘If you question something or stop and think, “Is that right?”, then go and get it checked out because it can happen to anyone.’