AFTER a walk along the beach on Easter Sunday, mum Kimberly Bradley headed home.
Having had an enjoyable day with her family, she snapped a selfie with husband Nathan and daughter Lucy.
But when the 42-year-old arrived home, she started to vomit and had been shivering.
The mum-of-one had initially dismissed the shivers and had put it down to getting too much sun during the Easter of 2019.
After making dinner, she started to feel unwell and went to bed, deciding she would see how she felt in the morning.
Hours later she was rushed to hospital after contracting meningococcal septicaemia, which has left her in a wheelchair.
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Now Kimberly, who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, is encouraging others to tell friends and family members if they are feeling unwell and to trust your instincts.
After going to bed on the Easter Sunday, Kimberly's husband Nathan came into check on her – an act she said saved her life.
She had already been sick, but when Nathan came in an hour later, she was feeling much worse.
"He was asking me questions and I was unable to speak. I was scared and thought I was having a stroke", Kimberly told the Daily Record.
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Kimberly said she then vaguely remembers getting into an ambulance, but woke up from an induced coma eight days later.
"I had contracted meningococcal septicaemia which had developed into sepsis with all my organs shutting down.
“I was shocked at how fast things happened and hearing how close I came to dying”, she added.
Kimberly said she was 'probably the fittest she had ever been' before she was struck down.
After her sepsis battle, Kimberly is still having to undergo a range of treatments.
She also had to have her toes amputated due to necrotic tissue and could also have to have her feet removed.
On top of this, she also said she feels guilty for putting her family through such trauma.
"It's hard to put that into words.
"My daughter Lucy was 13 at the time and old enough to understand the severity of what was going on", she told BBC Scotland.
What is sepsis and what are the signs you need to know?
SEPSIS is a life-threatening reaction to an infection and happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body’s tissue and organs.
The condition is always triggered by an infection – but it is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person.
Most often the culprit is an infection we all recognise – pneumonia, urinary infections (UTIs), skin infections, including cellulitis, and infections in the stomach, for example appendicitis.
Typically, when a person suffers a minor cut, the area surrounding the wound will become red, swollen and warm to touch.
This is evidence the body's immune system has kicked into action, releasing white blood cells to the site of the injury to kill off the bacteria causing the infection.
If you, a loved one, or in the case of medical professionals their patient, feels "severely sick", doesn't appear to be themselves and shows any of the following symptoms, sepsis should be suspected:
– Loss of appetite
– Fever and chills
– Difficult or rapid breathing
– Rapid heart rate
– Low blood pressure
– Low urine output
If a person is suffering these symptoms and they are thought to have suffered an infection – pneumonia, abdominal infection, urinary infection, or a wound – sepsis is a likely cause.
Before being diagnosed with sepsis, Kimberly said she was unaware of the condition and now says you should always tell someone if you're not feeling too good.
Kimberly has been campaigning with Sepsis Research FEAT, a charity which aims to stop sepsis and raise awareness of the condition.
A joint campaign has been launched with the charity and the Scottish government to help educate people on the signs of sepsis – the main five being:
S – shivering, fever, cold
E – extreme pain
P – pale clammy skin
S – shortness of breath
I – 'I feel like I might die'
S – sleep, confused.
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Colin Graham, chief operating officer at Sepsis Research FEAT, said: "It is a devastating condition that can kill a previously healthy adult or child in hours.
"The more people across the country who are able to spot the key symptoms of sepsis in themselves and others, the more lives will be saved."
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