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Talk about Sepsis: It Could Save a Life!

Lisa Brandt - August 06, 2018 02:55 PM

People often ask me whether I’ve experienced any after-effects following my near-death about with sepsis. The truth is I’m not sure.

Recognizing and treating septic shock – advanced, acute sepsis - in the nick of time can save someone’s life but the life they’re left with varies from person to person. Many suffer serious complications with organ failure, cognitive impairment and amputated limbs. Others report never feeling like themselves again, that they haven’t regained full strength either physically or mentally.

It’s difficult to remember what I was like prior to my illness in 2011. I think of these years as my bonus years. After all, there was a point when I was first taken to hospital that an emergency room doctor was tasked with informing me that they might not be able to save my life. That’s a moment you don’t forget and a clear turning point in one’s perspective, priorities and level of gratitude.

Sometimes, as I try to recall a name or an event, it’s like I can feel old-fashioned gears turning with difficulty in my brain. But perhaps that’s partly because I’m – gratefully - getting older. My job also requires me to get up at 3:15 am, so a lack of sleep might also contribute to whatever mental fatigue I experience. There’s no way to know for sure. I’ve taken memory and cognitive function tests and easily passed them. I get a lot done in a day, carve out time for myself and I’m generally happy. That’s all that really matters. The great luck that I’m even alive at all is never far from my mind.

Visitors to my Facebook page, My Sepsis Story: How I Almost Died and You Don’t Have To, routinely send me links to articles about people around the world who have died from sepsis. Most sepsis deaths don’t make the news. They occur quietly, tragically, by the thousands every day. Surveys show most people are unlikely to recognize the symptoms of sepsis until it’s too late. For yourself and those you love, please visit sepsis.org and familiarize yourself with the symptoms. Then ask one person if they’ve heard of sepsis and suggest they do the same. Say the word, save a life.

Lisa Brandt is a broadcaster and author of “How I Almost Died and You Don't Have To: My Sepsis Story” Since sepsis almost took her life in 2011, she made it her mission to educate as many people about it as possible. She also shares stories about sepsis survival and research on her Facebook page, under the title of the book.

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