Nurse who spent fours week in coma warns on sepsis

Jackie Davis
Jackie Davis
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A MIDWIFE who spent four weeks in a coma wants to warn others of the symptoms of sepsis.

Jackie Davis, who works at Queen Alexandra Hospital, suffered multiple organ failure and had to learn to walk again when she had sepsis in 2012.

The 41-year-old is sharing her story after Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs the Cosham site, launched its Inpatient Sepsis Screening and Action Tool.

The tool gives guidance to clinical staff to ensure they correctly notice and diagnose the condition.

When Jackie first fell ill she thought she had the flu and even after visiting her GP twice when she did not feel better, was told the same diagnosis. But a few hours later, her condition got worse.

Jackie said: ‘I can’t remember anything from the moment I walked out of my GP’s office that day until I woke up in hospital.

‘Apparently I withdrew £100 cash and left it on the counter in the bank, and that same night it took me four hours to cook my family a simple dinner.

‘My daughter Molly noticed me having a seizure that evening and called an ambulance. It saved my life.’

Jackie was rushed to QA Hospital and was treated for pneumonia and multiple organ failure. She was in a coma for four weeks.

She added: ‘Being in a coma is really bizarre. I was having hallucinations; I couldn’t work out what was real.

‘I wasn’t aware that my husband and family were there, although I do remember hearing my mother’s voice and knowing that it was her.’

Jackie’s family had been told that she might have suffered brain damage.

When she woke, a tracheotomy stopped Jackie from talking and a serious infection in her hand meant she was unable to write.

She said: ‘It was the most frightening thing I have ever experienced.

‘Once I’d recovered from the sepsis, I had to learn to walk again because my legs had stopped working from being bed-bound for so long.’

Jackie was told by doctors it would take at least 18 months before she would recover but she was back at work within six months.

But she did say the ordeal was emotionally challenging and experiencing a life-threatening illness and changed her outlook on life.

She added: ‘I don’t take life for granted any more. I make it a point to celebrate each day.’