Woman Died Hours After Being Admitted To Tunbridge Wells Hospital
Grieving relatives are campaigning to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis following the death of a mother and founder of a local business from the condition.
Symone Salwan died hours after being admitted by ambulance to Tunbridge Wells Hospital, complaining of four days of flu-like symptoms and pain in her hip and leg.
The mum-of-two, of Tunbridge Wells, developed the bacterial infection necrotising fasciitis – often termed as “flesh-eating disease”.
Her condition continued to deteriorate. Symone was admitted to intensive care. She died later the same day aged 49.
Medical negligence lawyers investigate Symone Salwan's death
Following Symone’s death her partner instructed expert medical negligence lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her care under Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust, which runs Tunbridge Wells Hospital.
With investigations continuing, Symone’s family, including partner Graham Crabb, 56, and her brother Simon Salwan, 48, are campaigning to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis – which sees the body attack itself in response to an infection - and the importance of early treatment.
Rachel Osborne, the specialist medical negligence expert at Irwin Mitchell investigating the circumstances of Symone’s death, said: “Graham, Simon and the rest of Symone’s family have been left heartbroken by their unexpected loss. Understandably they have many questions about the events that unfolded in the lead up to Symone’s sudden death.
“We’re now investigating the family’s concerns to provide them with the answers they deserve.
“In the meantime it’s vital that people are aware of the signs of sepsis, the importance of seeking urgent medical attention and how early diagnosis and treatment can make all the difference.”
Sepsis: Symone Salwan's story
Symone, who had a son, Kishi, aged 11, and a daughter, Kaya, aged nine, set up a business in 2011 providing care and support to people in their own homes, following the death of her grandma. The company won several awards and accolades, including at the 2017 Sevenoaks Community and Voluntary Awards.
Symone, who was previously fit and healthy, began feeling unwell with flu-like symptoms on around 12 February, 2020. Two days later she fainted at home.
On 16 February, Symone became confused. She was taken by ambulance to hospital arriving at around 5.30am.
She had a raised temperature, was vomiting and it was noted she hadn’t passed urine for several days.
Throughout the day her condition continued to deteriorate. That evening Symone was transferred to intensive care. She developed multiple organ failure and died at 10.45pm that evening.
Symone was an avid fundraiser for national and local charities. She co-chaired the Sevenoaks Area Dementia Friendly Community, chaired the West Kent Dementia Action and was a trustee of the Carers Wellbeing Initiative.
Following her death Symone’s family continued to raise money for charities in her memory.
Family's tribute to incredible woman
Simon said: “Symone was a beautiful mother, partner, sister, daughter, auntie and loyal friend to many.
“Her unexpected death has left a deep hole in all our hearts that will be difficult to heal. However, our happy memories, her warmth, her kindness and her perseverance to make a positive impact in this world will stay with us for ever.
“Symone adored her family; she was a caring and amazing friend. She loved dancing, the outdoors, the sun, good wine, good chats and good laughs.
“She was also an incredible woman, a super-woman and devoted her time to making a real difference to the lives of older people. She understood that love, kindness and compassion were all part of the health care that should be given to older people.
“The last year or so and trying to come to terms with what happened has been incredibly difficult for all of us.
“This is made all the harder by still having so many unanswered questions. Symone always wanted to help people so we thought it was important to honour her memory by trying to help others be aware just how dangerous sepsis can be.”
Signs of sepsis
Signs of sepsis include slurred speech, confusion, extreme shivering and muscle pain, passing no urine in a day, severe breathlessness and mottled or discoloured skin.
For more information visit www.sepsistrust.org