Mum shares close brush with death after shivers turn out to be life-threatening sepsis

Kimberley Bradley, from Edinburgh, has been left in a wheelchair following life-threatening septicaemia in 2019, which saw her race to hospital after dismissing her “cold” and “shivery” symptoms

Kimberley Bradley's shivers during a walk turned out to be life-threatening sepsis
Kimberley Bradley’s shivers during a walk turned out to be life-threatening sepsis

A mum has described her close brush with death after developing a case of shivers during a walk which turned out to be life-threatening sepsis.

Kimberley Bradley, from Edinburgh, has been left in a wheelchair following the life-threatening septicaemia in 2019, which saw her rushed to hospital.

The 42-year-old had been out for a walk on Easter Weekend when she began to feel ‘cold and shivery’ but initially dismissed the symptoms, Daily Record reported.

However, when the mum-of-one came back home her condition rapidly deteriorated and just a few hours later was left unable to speak when her condition took a significant dip.

Her husband frantically called for an ambulance and Kimberley was rushed to hospital where she underwent emergency treatment at the Royal Infirmary.

She said: “We had enjoyed a lovely walk along the beach and, for Easter weekend, the weather was really lovely.

Kimberley’s husband Nathan quickly phoned an ambulance and she was rushed to hospital


Gibson Digital)

“We came home in the early evening and started making the tea.

“I felt very cold and shivery and assumed that I’d maybe got too much sun.

“An hour or so later I started to vomit. I decided to go to bed and see how I felt in the morning. Nathan came in to check on me a while later and I was worse.

“He was asking me questions and I was unable to speak. I was scared and thought I was having a stroke.”

The mum added she vaguely remembers being placed in an ambulance until she awakened from an induced coma eight days later.

She said: “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 was just three weeks into a new job when she had became unwell and, as she didn’t return back within a month, he contract was terminated. Kimberley’s employer said she could reapply once she was well again.

Kimberley is still undergoing different treatments three years after her initial diagnosis of sepsis, which has included kidney dialysis at the hospital.

Sepsis affects 250,000 people in the UK and kills 44,000 per year. That’s more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer and road accidents combined.

■ Sepsis is the body’s often deadly response to an infection.

■ Initially, it can look like flu or a chest infection, but it can swiftly get serious.

■ Seek medical help urgently if you develop any one of the following…

– are lethargic or difficult to wake

– feel abnormally cold to touch

– the skin looks mottled, bluish or pale

– are breathing very fast

– have a rash that does not fade when you press it

– have a fit or convulsion

Suffering necrotic tissue on her hands, feet and nose, she had seen her toes amputated, and may still need further amputations in the future, including her feet.

She said: “I feel like it will never end at times but hopefully more surgery will sort it out”.

Unaware of sepsis prior to her diagnosis, Kimberley is encouraging others to let someone know if they are feeling unwell.

She added: “Trust your own instincts and if you are feeling ill, be sure that you let someone know.

“If my husband hadn’t checked on me through the night, I wouldn’t have survived until the morning”.

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