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Sepsis almost cost my life

Lynne Ainge has now arranged a special fundraising evening in Brome. Picture by Ava Lynch
Lynne Ainge has now arranged a special fundraising evening in Brome. Picture by Ava Lynch

A Brome woman has told how a small cut on her ankle nearly cost her life after she developed the deadly condition, sepsis.

Lynne Ainge, 56, was staying in a hotel on the Norfolk coast when she discovered the cut on her ankle one evening in January, 2017.

At first she thought nothing of it until three days later, while staying with a friend in Hopton on Sea, she noticed it had started to itch.

After going to bed, within three to four hours an infection had spread up her left leg and she began to feel more and more unwell.

“After that, the pain just grew worse and I began sweating, and feeling very very unwell,” said Lynne.

“I was in absolute agony and I think I became delirious. I managed to send a text message to my friend, Carole, who was downstairs, in the early hours asking for help.

“My knee was so swollen, I couldn’t even walk.”

Lynne was rushed to A&E where she was immediately given X-rays and other tests.

She was kept under strict observation after being diagnosed with sepsis, a deadly condition which happens when the body’s immune system overreacts to infection. It can quickly lead to multiple organ failure and death.

Sepsis deaths in England’s hospitals have gone up by more than a third in two years, according to experts. In the year ending April 2017, there were 15,722 deaths in hospital or within 30 days of discharge, where sepsis was the leading cause.

The area of infection on Lynne's leg
The area of infection on Lynne's leg

Some doctors believe staff shortages and overcrowding on wards are partly to blame, while NHS England believes more conditions were being classed as sepsis than before.

There has also been a focus on screening for sepsis in the NHS in recent years, led by the UK Sepsis Trust. According to the trust, sepsis was one of the most common causes of death in the UK, responsible for killing up to 44,000 people a year - in
hospital and in the community.

“The feeling was so overwhelming, I honestly thought I was going to die,” said Lynne, who is also a breast cancer survivor, and took part in the recent Pink Ladies Tractor Run.

“I battled with cancer eight years ago and after going through that, I felt like I could lose my life, all through a small cut on my ankle.”

Lynne was in hospital for three weeks recovering from the infection. The condition however left her with kidney damage, which she is only now overcoming.

A recent Coronation Street storyline has highlighted concerns over the rise in the number of cases of sepsis and a new text message alert system has been pioneered by doctors at Cambridge University Hospitals as part of a pilot scheme.

“For more than a year, I suffered constantly from exhaustion and fatigue, which had a major impact on my life” said Lynne.

“I couldn’t even do simple household chores.”

Lynne has organised a special fundraising evening at Brome Grange on Saturday, September 8, which is also Sepsis Awareness Month.

The evening will have a ‘Rat Pack” swing music theme and include a buffet and raffle.

Money from the event will go to the James Paget Hospital in Great Yarmouth, where she was treated.

Lynne hopes to raise enough to buy special sepsis emergency packs for every ward at the hospital.

To book, email: petelynne2@gmail.com

To find more about sepsis: visit www.sepsis.org

Special fundraising evening
Special fundraising evening

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