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How tiny symptom led to mum losing both feet and 10 fingers: ‘It’s vital lessons are learned’

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A mother of two lost both her feet and all 10 fingers after a hospital bungled crucial treatment for the life-threatening condition sepsis.

Sadie Kemp, 35, has been left permanently disabled after a British hospital delayed by three-and-a-half hours the start of treatment to try to address the condition.

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She is now calling for lessons to be learned after an NHS report found numerous concerns in her treatment that ultimately led to her needing multiple amputations.

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection, in which a body overreacts and starts to attack itself.

Signs include slurred speech, confusion, extreme shivering and muscle pain, passing no urine in a day, severe breathlessness and mottled or discoloured skin.

Sadie Kemp lost both feet and all 10 fingers due to sepsis after a British hospital delayed starting her treatment. Credit: Irwin Mitchell /SWNS

“All I can remember was being in absolute agony because of the pain and the next thing I’d woken up in intensive care,” Sadie said.

“Even now after all these months, I’m still trying to get my head around what happened and why it did.

“From what the doctors have told me in some respects I’m lucky that I survived what I did.

“But I’m also upset at what happened to me and how it will affect me.”

Hospital delays

Sadie first attended Emergency with agonising back pain caused by a kidney stone on the night of Christmas Day 2021.

She was given pain relief at a hospital in Cambridgeshire and sent home, to return the following morning for a kidney scan.

She returned the same night at 4am as her pain endured.

An assessment at 5.40am found she may have also been suffering from sepsis.

But the step-by-step guide to chart and treat the illness was not found in her notes as being done at the time.

As Sadie’s condition deteriorated on Boxing Day, the step-by-step sepsis guide was eventually done, and treatment started at 10pm, the North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust found.

The report confirms treatment should have started at 6.35pm.

Sadie in hospital after multiple amputations. Credit: Irwin Mitchell /SWNS

Upon becoming critically unwell, Sadie was transferred to another Cambridgeshire hospital and underwent surgery to remove the kidney stone.

She spent two weeks on a life support machine.

The investigation found not only should the sepsis have been discovered and treated sooner, but the “lack of effective treatment” of the sepsis prior to the surgery meant she needed prolonged critical care.

The drugs needed to regulate her heart during this period caused her to develop gangrene in her fingers and toes needing “extensive amputation surgery”.

Sadie lost all her fingers as well as both her feet. Credit: Irwin Mitchell/SWNS

She is now seeking legal support through medical negligence lawyers to help her access specialist lifetime care, support and therapies.

Sadie, who has two boys aged 17 and 2, said: “The last few months have been a real rollercoaster of emotions.

“The support I’ve had from my family and friends has given me real strength to try and face the future.

“While I wouldn’t wish what’s happened to me on anyone else, and it’s vital that lessons are learned, I also need to focus on what lies ahead.

“I want to be there for my kids, look after them and give them the best future I can.

“Making the best possible recovery and having access to the best support is key to that.”

Sadie’s friends have begun a fundraiser to help with her medical care. Credit: Irwin Mitchell /SWNS

Her 10 fingers were removed in May and she had two leg amputations from the ankle down at a private clinic, costing £18,000 ($A32,200).

Her hope is the new type of surgery she received privately will allow for more of her legs to be saved, giving her permanent prostheses which become fused to the bones.

This treatment is not currently available on the NHS.

“Sepsis is an absolutely horrendous condition and more has to be done to raise awareness of how dangerous it is,” Sadie said.

“I just hope that by speaking out I can help others.”

Sadie’s friends have set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise money towards Sadie’s ongoing needs.

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Source: 7News