We (and most of the internet) were rendered blubbering wrecks when we watched Melissa’s brave, eloquent, moving and incredibly sad video raising awareness of Sepsis following the loss of her son William far too soon.
We were grateful that Melissa shared a few words with us – and hope that our readers will contribute to William’s JustGiving page.
SM: First of all, how are you feeling? Baby #2 must be pretty close to arriving?
Melissa: Baby number two is arriving on the 27th September so very close now! Due on the 9th October but due to a few complications on my part it’ll be a planned c-section. We are very excited about the baby, however it’s very much tinged with sadness that William isn’t here to share it with us. With our experiences with William it has made us incredibly anxious and fearful that we will lose the baby. We like to think of this baby as a gift from William, our little ray of hope, we can only take one day at a time, and we both accept that sometimes it’s ok to not be ok.
SM: Now that (thanks to your video) we have heard of Sepsis, what would your advice be in terms of how to handle the situation if we suspect any of the signs?
Melissa: If anyone suspects any of the signs and symptoms of sepsis either in themselves, a loved one or child then it is always best to consult a GP / out of hours or A&E, especially if there is history of infection. The one thing that is absolutely key to say is, ‘could this be sepsis’, sometimes all it takes is for two mutual people to suspect it and the golden hour of treatment can begin much earlier than waiting. Suspecting sepsis is half of the journey. Sepsis is so quick so do not delay, and never be afraid to voice your concern or thoughts.
SM: our fight has generated some amazing support and seemingly lots of stories of shared experiences, loss and positive action. Do you feel there is a ‘next step’ now to your campaign?
Melissa: Last Tuesday, I, along with the UK Sepsis Trust and the Government launched a public awareness campaign for sepsis. 1 in three Britons do not know what sepsis is, however, a recent poll from YouGov/UKST shows that this year there has been a 47% increase in sepsis awareness since William’s story was highlighted in the media. I think the way that we have conducted our campaign and worked with the Government means that we all have a shared objective and the campaign can be constructive. I recorded my video just ahead of the campaign launch, but it’s so important to remember that as a charity the UKST do not get any Government funding and is entirely self-funded through people like me fundraising. The campaign so far will consist of resources in the areas your would hope to see them, so local doctors, A&E’s, Out of hours, pharmacies etc. but the next step is to raise enough money to create a television advert to really reach people in their homes. 70% of sepsis cases are acquired in the community, so it shows we really need to be reaching people in their own environment. So, I will continue to try and raise awareness and funds for as long as I live, for me this gives me a purpose, it still allows me to be William’s mum and create a legacy for him. Sadly, there is no vaccine for sepsis, as it is bacterial so it’s really important that we have a campaign in place that runs year on year.