Irwin Mitchell Lawyer Alex Davenport Was Diagnosed With Sepsis In August 2015
An experienced Cambridge-based lawyer, who was diagnosed with sepsis, is speaking out on World Sepsis Day (13th September) to stress the need for more awareness of the disease and its effects.
An initiative of the Global Sepsis Alliance, World Sepsis Day aims to promote awareness of sepsis, which is a life threatening disease that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.
Sepsis is caused by the way the body responds to germs, such as bacteria, getting into the body. The infection may have started anywhere in a sufferer’s body, and may be localised or widespread. It can occur following chest or water infections, problems in the abdomen like burst ulcers, or simple skin injuries like cuts and bites.
Alex Davenport, 31, is a specialist military injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell in Cambridge. He was diagnosed with sepsis in August 2015. In his work Alex helps soldiers who have been injured through negligence while serving or training in the armed forces to get their lives back on track.
Alex was admitted to Leighton Hospital, Crewe, despite initially being turned away, in August 2015. Alex had a history of a recent abscess in his arm which had been surgically removed, as an inpatient in West Suffolk Hospital, along with symptoms indicative of a serious infection, including soreness and tightness down the back of his leg.
With a temperature of over 40 degrees Celsius, Alex’s health deteriorated rapidly and he had surgery on his leg to remove a further abscess that had been found in the back of his leg and the surrounding tissue.
His family and girlfriend, now fiancée Sarah Wealleans, who is also a lawyer for Irwin Mitchell in Cambridge, were told that his condition was ‘touch and go’ as he was transferred following his operation to critical care.
He remained in critical care for almost three weeks, and lost in total close to three stone as a result of the infection which required the insertion of a feeding tube and a strictly controlled diet. Following his discharge from hospital, Alex was off work for three months and suffered further complication as a result of the Sepsis.
It is only in the last six months that Alex has got back to near full-health following the complications and impact the infection took on his body.
Speaking about his experience and World Sepsis Day, Alex said:
Expert Opinion“I hope that by speaking out about my experience, I can help raise awareness of the disease.
“I initially thought I was suffering from muscle tightness down the back of my leg, and didn’t think much of it. However, when my body showed signs of infection my health deteriorated quickly and steeply.
“I don’t remember much of my time in hospital due to the high amounts of painkillers I was on, but one thing that has stayed with me is the support my family and Sarah gave me during what must have been an incredibly difficult time for them. It has only been from speaking with them and my doctors since my discharge that I was able to realise quite how serious my condition was.
“I would also like to take the opportunity, on World Sepsis Day, to praise the work of the fantastic nursing staff of the critical care unit and the surgical staff att Leighton Hospital who were amazing throughout and without whose help I would not be here today.. However, the fact I was initially turned away by the A&E department still worry me as the outcome could have been drastically different.”
“I know I am one of the lucky ones, that sepsis was diagnosed and treated early enough to prevent a truly devastating outcome. Many people will not be so lucky.”
“At Irwin Mitchell, through our close work with The UK Sepsis Trust, we have seen the urgent need to promote the signs of sepsis and provide early care in the UK. I hope that World Sepsis Day will raise vital funds to save thousands of lives and improve the outlook for all of those affected, like me.” Alexander Davenport - Associate Solicitor