There is a story that needs to be told about the evil of sepsis
Local legend Finn Smith lost his limbs to sepsis. The annual Wishlist Spring Carnival is always a chance to frock up but it smashed a record last month by raising over $215K in one day. It was held on World Sepsis Day.
Lisa Rowe is the boss of Wishlist and is waging war against sepsis. Part of those funds this year will be spent on critically needed research and education into the condition.
“One child dies every week in Australia from sepsis and 3.5 million across the world each year,” said Lisa. “In Australia more die from sepsis than road traffic accidents and leukaemia. We lose 18 thousand adults a year to sepsis which is more than from breast and prostate cancer,” added the passionate leader. Paula Lister is a researcher with Wishlist and added: “It can happen to anyone, young and old, healthy or with a chronic condition. It is an entirely treatable condition if recognised and caught early.”
The fight against sepsis has a few very brave and key warriors here on the Coast. Little Finn Smith survived Meningococcal B Septicaemia in 2013. The Coast’s favourite boy turns 7 very soon and is the most amazing child I know.
Finny lost his limbs but his heart is bigger than Phar Lap’s heart! His beautiful mum Sarah wants us all to know the effects of sepsis and the symptoms in the hope of saving lives. “My aim of talking out is to hopefully save one child, one family from experiencing the traumatising and devastating effects of sepsis,” said Sarah. “Finn was a happy little boy as usual and at just 13 months old seemed to be sick with a cold.
As the evening progressed so did his flu like symptoms. I felt his little body start to tremor almost pulsating on and off. At this stage I called the after hours doctor and they came within the hour. The said he just had a viral infection and gave us a script to use the next day. Hours later I noticed a mark on Finn’s forehead. It was grey in colour like he had been playing with a lead pencil. I thought it must be a bruise.
Finn was now throwing up and I noticed the same marks all over his chest and body but lighter in colour. When we arrived at the emergency department our worst nightmare came to life and I could feel Finn’s little body going limp before they placed him in an induced coma. We were told Finn might not survive. The first 72 hours are the most critical. We kept telling him over and over “Fight Bubba, fight”. The image of our beautiful baby boy intubated and hooked up to a life support will be with me forever. Over the next few days we watched his limbs go from red to purple to black and then his fingertips dried up like raisins.
The reality of him requiring amputations set in. Finn lay in that coma for weeks, as he was too weak to breath by himself. But slowly a miracle happened and each of his organs began to work again before he opened those big brown eyes. Only a few weeks after that they began the amputation surgeries. His first was on Christmas Eve; they took his left leg below the knee. Three days later they took his right hand the fingers from his left. Two days after that they took his right foot above the ankle. From that moment on we started the long and hard road to recovery as Finn needed to re-learn new ways to do absolutely everything.
Through countless surgeries, pain, frustration and tears we did it and Finn is now one strong determined and happy little boy who amazes us every day. I would like to finish up by leaving you with this message: if your child has flu like symptoms that seem to be worse than you have seen before then do not hesitate and get them to a hospital. Symptoms include running nose, fever, vomiting, tremors and bruise like rashes on the skin. Trust your gut.
No one knows your child like you. When it comes to sepsis the fight to save your child’s life is time critical. Every second you wait could be the difference between them surviving or losing their life. Yes Finn lost his limbs but I can honestly say he was one of the lucky ones,” ends his extraordinary mother.