Woman Left Fighting For Her Life After Common UTI Gave Her Sepsis
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At first Jessica Middour, 46, brushed off her symptoms as nothing more than nerves and feeling menopausal.
But while taking her mother on a routine trip to the hospital in 2015, Jessica suddenly started sweating and being sick, ending up in an emergency room.
Jessica was lucky to be in the right place at the right time, or things could have been a whole lot worse.
"[My mum's] nurse noticed that I was sweating and looking unwell and told me to go to the emergency room downstairs, but I didn't listen until I tried to stand up and fell straight back down," Jessica recalled.
It was while downstairs in the hospital that Jessica was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection - a common issue which frequently affects as many as 50 per cent of women in their lifetimes.
While she was initially relieved that it seemed like an everyday infection, her moment of calm was sadly short lived.
Shortly after this, she went into septic shock, and ended up fighting for her life as she was hooked up to two different IV lines, where she endured brain, liver and kidney scans.
Luckily, the hospital managed to treat her effectively, and after one week in hospital Jessica returned home and back to work.
However, she was then struck by the same symptoms just six months later in April 2016, and was diagnosed with sepsis again, deriving from another UTI.
Things got so bad that Jessica was forced to quit her job due to her lack of energy, and became unable to complete 'simple' tasks.
She was given her third sepsis diagnosis in 2017 following another UTI, and tragically, by this point, she assumed she wouldn't make it out alive.
"This time I said goodbye to my family because I was certain that I couldn't be lucky a third time, but somehow I was," she emotionally recalled.
"Every time it was as a result of a UTI - something which is so common in so many women.
"Hopefully from sharing my story people will realise it can be so much deeper than your initial diagnosis and I'm encouraging people to push their doctors to ask if it could be sepsis."
However, by some miracle Jessica beat the illness for the third time.
Now, she is sharing her story to encourage people to never brush off their symptoms and to ask doctors if it 'could be sepsis' when they are receiving diagnosis.
Despite surviving the life-threatening condition three times, Jessica admits that she still suffers from 'post-sepsis syndrome' to this day.
She said: "I have had to quit my job because the side effects of having sepsis three times are just too strong.
"I am constantly tired, I have constant joint pains, I've lost the feeling in my toes and I can't solve simple problems or tasks like I used to be able to.
"Every time I go to the bathroom I'm petrified that I'm going to have another UTI and die from sepsis.
"I could have very easily died all three times if I didn't recognise my sepsis sooner - thankfully I was in the right place at the right time when I was first diagnosed because if I was at home in bed, it would've been the end to my story.
"This is why I'm encouraging everyone to get a better understanding of sepsis and how it can derive from simple illnesses such as a UTI."
Ladies, use Jessica's story as a reminder to check your symptoms.