Molly (Y7) addressed an audience of medical professionals for the #StampOutSepsis2 conference hosted by Leeds Teaching Hospitals yesterday (22 October).
Having developed the condition at the age of four after contracting an infection while she and her family were away on holiday, Molly’s symptoms were, fortunately, detected in time and she became a sepsis survivor.
Twelve year old Molly, who had sepsis when she was four, told the #stampoutsepsis conference hosted by @LeedsHospitals how she overcame her illness which she contracted after an infection picked up on holiday. pic.twitter.com/TGVtUxBO26
— Leeds Teaching Hospitals (@LeedsHospitals) October 22, 2019
Sepsis, also known as septicaemia, is a potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an infection or injury. In sepsis, the body’s immune system goes into overdrive as it tries to fight an infection. This can reduce the blood supply to vital organs (such as brain, heart and kidneys) and, without quick treatment, can lead to multiple organ failure and fatality. Early presenting symptoms of sepsis may include a fever or a low body temperature, chills and shivering, a fast heartbeat and fast breathing. These symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed as resulting from other conditions, leading to a delay in diagnosis. Currently sepsis kills over 44,000 people annually in the UK. Using blood cultures to obtain a sepsis diagnosis can take up to six days but newer techniques can reduce this window to three-to-five hours. (Source: Sepsis Awareness)
In sharing the benefit of her experience with medical professionals, Molly is helping them to better recognise the early symptoms of sepsis, to improve empathy with their patients and to reduce the chances that sepsis will be misdiagnosed for less life-threatening conditions.
Speaking to Global Radio, Molly, now 12, shared that she still remembers the pain and her dialysis. In her work to support stamping out sepsis, Molly has given similar talks to groups of medical professionals. At one such event in 2017 she met the actor and sepsis awareness campaigner Jason Watkins (left, pictured with Molly), who had lost his two-year-old daughter to the condition.
Molly took time away from her classmates who were in Pateley Bridge for their three-day Year 7 Residential, and re-joined the girls after she had finished at the conference.
— Julia Spencer (@mrsjuliaspencer) October 22, 2019