I lost three limbs after my cough turned into deadly sepsis – don’t make the same mistake I did.

A FORMER nurse lost both her legs and an arm after a cough turned into deadly sepsis.

Jayne Carpenter, 51, from Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, spent nine weeks in hospital fighting for her life.

 Jayne Carpenter, 51, lost both legs and an arm when she was hit with deadly sepsis which developed from a simple cough

Jayne Carpenter, 51, lost both legs and an arm when she was hit with deadly sepsis which developed from a simple coughCredit: Caters News Agency

 Jayne, pictured before falling ill, says sepsis turned her life upside down

Jayne, pictured before falling ill, says sepsis turned her life upside downCredit: Caters News Agency

Her husband Robert, 55, was told she would die unless she had a triple amputation.

When she eventually came out of a coma, she had lost four of her fingers on her right hand, her left arm below the elbow and both her legs.

But three years on from her ordeal Jayne is now fundraising for a new set of artificial limbs that she says will transform her life.

The quadruple amputee said: "It's been completely devastating and life changing. Getting sepsis is something you never predict will happen to you.

It's been completely devastating and life changing. Getting sepsis is something you never predict will happen to you

Jayne Carpenter

"It turned my world upside down.

"I haven't let it defeat me but I do get my dark moments."

Jayne's illness began in April 2016 when she developed what she thought was a cough.

She said: "I'd had quite bad cough and was coughing up dark coloured phlegm.

"I was getting worse and I just thought it was a virus.

"The following day I woke up and felt short of breath and couldn't walk anywhere.

"I thought it was a cough, as a nurse I thought it was something fairly trivial so didn't want to make a fuss."

Jayne described her symptoms to her local GP who advised her to go to A&E but did not suspect that she had the early stages of deadly sepsis.

Initially told that she had pneumonia her condition quickly began to deteriorate and she entered a coma.

Doctors were forced to carry out a triple amputation to save her life and she spent nine weeks in a coma.

Jayne said the last three years of recovery have brought huge challenges to her.

She said: "Three years on and I've really struggled, I thought my life couldn't improve beyond what it's like at the moment.

"There were three points this year where I got close to ending my own life, it's been horrendous.

"It's like a grieving process, I've grieved for the life I once had and the ability to do so many of the small things you take for granted such as being able to go for a swim.

I've grieved for the life I once had and the ability to do so many of the small things you take for granted

Jayne Carpenter

"I can't put my own jewellery on, I rely on my husband to put my shoes on, it takes away my femininity.

"I try and do as much as I can but have to ask Robert to do lots of things, he's been a real rock."

Jayne said that despite being told she's lucky to be alive, coming to terms with the limits she faces has been difficult.

She has changed careers and works part time as a para-legal medical practitioner.

 Jayne with her husband Robert who was forced to make the decision to amputate to safe his wife's life

Jayne with her husband Robert who was forced to make the decision to amputate to safe his wife's lifeCredit: Caters News Agency

 The former nurse has revealed how she has wanted to end her life after the ordeal

The former nurse has revealed how she has wanted to end her life after the ordealCredit: Caters News Agency

 She discussed her 'grieving process' for the life she once had

She discussed her 'grieving process' for the life she once hadCredit: Caters News Agency

She said: "People were saying 'you're so lucky to be here'.

"I told my husband, you can walk away and he replied 'I married you not for your arms or legs but because I love you'.

"We try to live life as normally as possible but life is not always the same as before.

"I divide my life into two parts; before and after I got sepsis.

"I lost half my life."

Jayne is now raising £265,000 on GoFundMe for ossiointergration surgery which will see a pair of state-of-art prosthetic's fitted on each of her legs.

What are the signs and symptoms of sepsis?

SEPSIS is the primary cause of death from infection around the world, claiming around 40,000 lives in the UK each year.

The condition is always triggered by an infection.

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.

Normally the body's immune system sends white blood cells to kill off the bacteria causing the infection, but this goes into overdrive when a person develops sepsis.

The immune system - the body's defence mechanism - overreacts and the result is it attacks the body.

It can lead to organ failure and septic shock, which can prove fatal.

Known by its colloquial name "blood poisoning", sepsis is also often referred to as a "flesh-eating disease".

Symptoms include:

  • weakness
  • loss of appetite
  • fever and chills
  • thirst
  • difficult or rapid breathing
  • rapid heart rate
  • low blood pressure
  • low urine output

She said: "It will completely and utterly change my life without a shadow of a doubt.

"It'll give my freedom and independence back.

"My life was stripped away and I just need to regain some of the normality that sepsis took away from me."


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