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With World Sepsis Day behind us, our client Stan explains why you should be alert all year round.

Globally, sepsis claims six million lives a year. Yet with early diagnosis, it’s easily treatable. Thankfully, our client Stan is still here to tell his story, but his battle back to health is a reminder of the dangers of such a debilitating disease.

Stan and sepsis

Bench-pressing nearly 150 kilos and not having visited a doctor for 20 years, Stan Burkett-Coltman, of Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, was the picture of health. So when he started experiencing pain in his left arm and blurred vision, nothing could prepare him for the chain of events that would unfold. Within days, he would be in hospital battling sepsis.

Onset and diagnosis

Stan, a self-employed insolvency practitioner, visited the A&E department at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury. He complained about his blurred vision and also told staff he had experienced pain in his left arm and had been feeling unwell for a week.

He was discharged and told to make a hospital appointment with regards to his eye. The following day he woke to find his vision had deteriorated. Stan contacted his optician who told him to go to hospital.

Doctors initially believed he may have a cornea infection. The following day he was diagnosed with bacterial infection group A streptococcus.

Stan was transferred to another hospital for specialist treatment and, whilst doctors were able to save his life, they couldn’t save his eye.

He spent around two weeks in hospital afterwards but things did not suddenly get better. Stan recalls: “I was really weak and, whereas before I was training for a Half Ironman event and bench-pressing 150 kilos, now it took me around 40 minutes just to walk a mile.”

Raising awareness

Stan remains optimistic and now wants to use his experience to help others. He added: “You only get one crack at life and so I want to make the most of it. Yes, I’ve lost an eye, but there are many others out there who have not been as fortunate. “I’m now passionate about helping people be more aware of sepsis and how dangerous it can be. I have beaten sepsis and I’m going to get others to beat it. “If I can save one person’s life, I can save somebody else’s world.”

Stan spoke out during World Sepsis Day, which is run by The UK Sepsis Trust, a fantastic charity that we are proud to work with.

The UK Sepsis Trust exists to fight this life-threatening condition, stop preventable deaths and support those affected by sepsis.

You can find out more at sepsistrust.org

Turning Point – Winter 2018

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