An infant in the United Kingdom lost his limbs after an untreated throat infected resulted in sepsis. The boy’s mother, Abigail Wardle, shared her son’s tragic story and hoped to spread awareness about the dangers of the deadly blood infection.
According to Yahoo Style UK, Abigal Wardle’s four-month-old son appeared under the weather in March 2019. Wardle noticed her son Oliver’s soft-spot was sunken, and he seemed to be dehydrated. When she took Olive to the doctor, they gave him fluids and sent them home.
During the evening, Oliver’s condition rapidly deteriorated. Wardle said he became limp, lethargic, and appeared to be in considerable pain. The next morning she brought Oliver back to the doctor’s office.
When they arrived at the clinic, the nurse whisked Oliver away to the emergency department. Doctors worked relentlessly to save the baby’s life.
“Everything was a blur,” Abigail explained of the moment. “I still had no idea what was wrong with Oliver, I was just trying to hold it together as they were putting him to sleep.”
As Oliver’s condition deteriorated, his limbs turned purple. Initially, Wardle thought her son was cold and tried to keep him warm. Doctor’s placed Oliver in a coma, and they determined an infection in his blood was ravaging his body.
According to Wardle, an untreated throat infection spread into Oliver’s blood, which caused sepsis. As the septic infection spread throughout his body, his limbs began to die off. Eventually, his feet, legs, and arms turned black and hard.
As the doctor’s worked to treat the infection, Oliver’s dead tissue on his limbs spread. When Abigail and a nurse attempted to move Oliver, one of his legs fell off. Realizing the severity of the infection, the medical staff decided to remove all of his limbs.
“The limbs were heavy and uncomfortable – Oliver was miserable, I know it sounds like an odd thing for a mother to say but I was desperate for them to take them off.
“Once he had his limbs removed, he was like a different child – so happy and full of life, it seemed like a relief for him.”
After months in the hospital, Oliver was discharged in July. Despite her son losing his limbs, the mother is grateful he survived the infection. According to Abigail, Oliver is still a happy and smiley baby, even without his extremities.
Now that Oliver is better, Abigail is focusing her attention on building awareness surrounding the warning signs of sepsis. The mother hopes she can help parents and doctors better identify the early signs of the deadly blood infection.
“Some people might feel sorry for us but I feel like the luckiest mum in the world,” she says. “I still have Oliver with us – he might not have any hands or feet but he is still my smiley, brave little boy.”
“I want his story to be used to help spread awareness and teach other parents and GPs who maybe don’t have specialist paediatric training, about the signs of sepsis,” she says.
“I had no idea how ill Oliver was but if he hadn’t gone into hospital when he did, he wouldn’t be here.”
Sepsis is a bacterial infection in the blood. Untreated bacterial infections in the body can spread into the blood. Once the infection enters the bloodstream, patients are at a high risk of death. Untreated sepsis can result in multiple organ failure and death.
Common symptoms of sepsis in children are:
- looks mottled, bluish or pale
- is very lethargic or difficult to wake
- feels abnormally cold to touch
- is breathing very fast
- has a rash that does not fade when you press it
- has a fit or convulsion
Individuals diagnosed with sepsis need immediate treatment with IV antibiotics.
For Oliver, an untreated throat infection entered his bloodstream and nearly killed him. Despite presenting with many symptoms of sepsis on his first hospital visit, doctors sent the baby home. If doctor’s spotted the infection the day before, Oliver might still have his limbs today.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles related to trending topics and crime on her column.
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