Father-of-two, 43, who thought he ‘probably had the flu’ nearly died after his throat infection triggered deadly sepsis

It was unclear whether the computer programmer would make it but after two weeks in hospital he miraculously survived.

Mr Cooper, from Long Ashton, in Bristol, said: ‘I knew I was unwell but didn’t think it was anything serious. I thought it was probably the flu.

‘I knew nothing about sepsis before it happened to me. I knew that I was sicker than I had ever been before but I still didn’t think I was seriously ill.

‘It was the middle of the night when I called 111 and I don’t really know what I was expecting or why I was calling. It didn’t occur to me to call 999. I didn’t think it was an emergency.

‘When the paramedic arrived he seemed to immediately recognise that there was something seriously wrong with me.’

When Victoria discovered that he was being rushed to hospital she frantically rang friends and family to come and look after her two children Benjamin, 7 and Olivia, 1.

Skin peels off of Mr Cooper’s hands (shown) as he went through the aftermath of sepsis shock

The father-of-two was in the Bristol Royal Infirmary hospital in intensive care for around two weeks

Mr Cooper required breathing help
She said: ‘I phoned the hospital to see if he was in a ward and they said, “he’s in resuscitation. If he makes it, he will be in intensive care.” I said, what do you mean “if”?

‘If there had been a small delay that would have cost him his life. He was so close. His skin turned really dark purple. He looked absolutely awful for days.’

Victoria was finally able to visit Mr Cooper in the hospital a few hours later that day and when she arrived he was still conscious but confused and struggling to breathe.

It was another four hours until they stabilised Mr Cooper and he was then taken to intensive care where he was put into a coma and dialysis lines were inserted.

Victoria added: ‘All of the blood rushed to my head. I was just hysterical. They didn’t know if he was going to make it. I had the worst feeling in the pit of my stomach.

‘The next few hours were critical. It was just something that we never thought could happen.

‘I had no idea how common it is and how many people are affected by it. I thought that you got blood poisoning from a rusty nail or something. I had no idea it could mask itself as a virus.

It was unclear whether Mr Cooper (pictured with Olivia) would make it but after two weeks in hospital he miraculously survived unscathed
‘A lot of people [with sepsis] think they have a really severe case of food poisoning or flu. It is hard to diagnose early on, you could be sent home and think that you’re okay.

‘Every single hour is critical, he was a couple of hours away from not making it. They showed us on a graph how close he was to losing his kidneys altogether and at that stage it would have been multiple organ failures.

The father-of-two was in the Bristol Royal Infirmary hospital in intensive care for around two weeks and was initially put into a wheelchair until he was able to walk again with the help of rehabilitation.

Victoria said: ‘It has been a rollercoaster and in some ways a positive experience because everyone has been so kind.

‘We have been living day by day. We just don’t want anyone else to go through that. We want to increase awareness.

‘I have never seen him so ill before. It was an extremely tiring time looking after children and not knowing if we were going to lose him and how I would tell our son.

‘I just kept thinking, how am I ever going to tell them? It really was life and death those first few days just from something as simple as a throat infection.’

The deadly condition that affects more than 250,000 Brits a year

Sepsis is a serious condition that is triggered by the body’s extreme response to an infection, as opposed to a severe infection itself. It affects more than 250,000 people in the UK each year.

It arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It may lead to shock, multiple organ failure, and death, especially if not recognized early and treated promptly.

In the early stages, the symptoms can be mistaken for flu, gastroenteritis and/or a chest infection.

Seek medical help urgently if you develop slurred speech, confusion, extreme shivering, muscle pain, passing no urine (in a day), severe breathlessness, it feels like you’re going to die, skin mottled or discoloured.

Group A strep (strep A) are often found on the surface of the skin and inside the throat. They are a common cause of infection in adults and children.

They can be spread in droplets in the coughs or sneezes of someone with an infection, or through direct contact with an infected person or contaminated object.

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5143197/Father-nearly-died-throat-infection-triggered-sepsis.html

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