Mum backs call for sepsis campaign

Jemma Roberts
Jemma Roberts
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A Wigan mum whose daughter died of a blood infection is calling for a TV campaign to raise awareness and save lives.

When Diane Roberts was told her 13-year-old daughter had died of sepsis two years ago, she said she had never heard of it.

But the Whelley mum said if there had been a more prominent awareness drive, she may have spotted the signs sooner and now wants to ensure people know what to look out for.

Diane said: “If I had known the signs and symptoms I would have realised how seriously ill Jemma was.

“The government and NHS need to get knowledge of sepsis out there and I believe there should be a big campaign on TV so people can recognise the symptoms.”

Diane has now been invited to attend a workshop at Wigan Infirmary to learn more about the condition and spread her knowledge.

She said: “Wigan Infirmary thought it would be a good idea for me to attend to see what goes on and what they talk about. I will be observing and sharing my experiences. I want to let people know about sepsis and the more educated I am the more information I can pass on.”

Diane added that she fully supports Melissa Mead, whose son 12-month-old William died after medics failed to spot he had sepsis, as she is also calling for heightened awareness of the condition.

The Cornish mum met with key health officials, including Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and UK Sepsis Trust to discuss what can be done to highlight the condition.

Melissa said: “If our doctors aren’t recognising sepsis how are parents supposed to recognise it? That is something I want to raise. It needs to be in packs which are given to first time parents, it needs to be on TV like the Fast stroke campaign and the meningitis campaign, it needs to be out there for the general public to grasp.

“When I called 111 I didn’t know that William was seriously ill, I didn’t collectively look at William’s symptoms and think ‘this is sepsis’ because I didn’t know what it was. I was checking for rashes all over William because I knew what meningitis was.”

Early symptoms include fever, chills and shivering, a fast heartbeat and quick breathing. Symptoms of more severe sepsis or septic shock include feeling dizzy or faint, confusion or disorientation, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea and cold, clammy and pale or mottled skin.

Diane is organising a race night at The Village on the Green, Aspull, on March 11, at 7pm, for Alder Hey Hospital which treated Jemma in her later stages of sepsis.

A table of 10 costs £7.50 and includes a hot supper and disco. For tickets call Diane on 07754 050451.