- William Mead, one, died in 2014 after medics failed to spot signs of sepsis
- Inquiry after his death revealed a staggering 15 failures in his care
- Melissa Mead has met with Jeremy Hunt to discuss a sepsis campaign
- Was shocked to learn only months ago she too battled sepsis in 2011
Melissa Mead finds it hard to recall the time when she knew nothing about sepsis or the devastating swiftness with which it can kill.
Since her baby son, William, died from it, aged one, in December 2014, following a catalogue of errors, misdiagnoses and missed opportunities by doctors and the NHS helpline, she’s become an expert on the subject, campaigning to raise awareness and ensure others don’t die needlessly. So consider her shock when she learned, only months ago, that she herself had almost died from the condition. Following surgery in 2011, she became critically ill with an infection.
The revelation that the infection was sepsis came during a session with the psychiatrist who has treated her for depression and post-traumatic shock since William died.
There are no words to explain how profoundly the trauma of losing William affected my mental health,’ she recalls. ‘I am still having intensive therapy, and during one session my psychiatrist asked me: “How does it make you feel to know you survived sepsis and William didn’t?” I was confused. I said: “What do you mean?”
‘He has access to my medical notes and he said: “When you were very ill in hospital five years ago, you had sepsis.” ‘I can’t really remember the rest of the conversation because I was so shocked. I asked him to explain and he told me the infection after my operation was sepsis. ‘I wonder now if I’d been aware of what it was and what to look out for, whether we’d have been more alert to the symptoms when William developed it. ‘We should have been told. If we had been, things could have been so different.’
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