A grandmother is waiting to have all four limbs amputated after falling victim to sepsis from a ‘paper cut’.
The family of Marguerite Henderson were told to prepare for her death while the 54-year-old lay in an induced coma for seven days.
Marguerite from Crosshill near Lochgelly, Fife, pulled through but doctors have no choice but to amputate all four limbs as a result of the deadly infection.
Now Marguerite’s family have launched a fundraising campaign to raise £80,000 to give the former Fife Council support worker a bionic hand, prosthetic legs and an electric wheelchair.
Marguerite Henderson, 54, pulled through but doctors have no choise but to amputate all four limbs as a result of the deadly infection. She is pictured right with her 17-month-old granddaughter, Gracie
Speaking today, Marguerite’s eldest daughter Kim Donnachie, said: ‘She noticed on the Sunday that she had a tiny cut on her index finger on her right hand.
‘It was that minuscule, she doesn’t even remember how she got it. It was just a cut the size of a paper cut.
‘By the next day it looked infected so she went to the pharmacist to see if they had anything for it and they told her to get it checked by the doctor so she got an appointment for the next day.’
But the next day Marguerite felt too poorly to make the appointment and the day after that the ‘Beast from the East’ struck the UK.
Kim said: ‘By lunchtime she was so unwell, she couldn’t walk, her lips were blue and she was turning grey so we rushed her into hospital.
The former nursery worker was rushed into intensive care when her organs began to fail, resulting in her being put on dialysis
Marguerite and her two children Kim, 27 and Emma, 18 were told by doctors at Victoria Hospial in Kirkcaldy, Fife that she had contracted sepsis.
The next day the former nursery worker was rushed into intensive care when her organs began to fail, resulting in her being put on dialysis.
Marguerite’s family were initially told she would be put in a coma for a couple of days and she would wake up better.
But as soon a she was put under, the family were taken into a room and told to prepare for the worst.
‘As soon as she was put to sleep they told us she could die. We’ve found out now that nurses were told at the time she was going to, and it was just a matter of time, but she’s been a fighter’, Kim said.
Marguerite was kept in the coma for seven days.
Kim said: ‘On Monday the 19th we were sat down and told it’s definite she would be having to get all her limbs amputated.
Speaking today, Marguerite’s eldest daughter Kim Donnachie (centre, with her Mrs Henderson and her sister, Emma), said that her grandmother’s arms were ‘all black and bandaged up’
The amputation of her arms is scheduled for Tuesday and her legs will be a couple of weeks later.
‘They’re all black and bandaged up at the moment so they can dry out before surgery.’
Kim set up a Crowdfunding page in order to raise £80,000 to help give her mum the most comfortable life possible.
At the moment, the NHS can provide basic prosthetics but told Kim and her family it is highly unlikely they could get further funding for better limbs.
‘She used to drive and would always be on the go. She was so devastated about it all but now she is saying she knows she’s lucky to be alive.
‘She wants to make the most of her life and enjoy being a grandmother.’
Sepsis is the primary cause of death from infection around the world and claims around 40,000 lives in the UK each year.
The condition is triggered by an infection.
Common signs and symptoms include fever, increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and confusion.
To donate and help Marguerite, please visit her JustGiving page.
What are the key symptoms of sepsis? The ‘silent killer’ that can cause death in minutes
Sepsis, known as the ‘silent killer’, strikes when an infection such as blood poisoning sparks a violent immune response in which the body attacks its own organs.
It is the leading cause of avoidable death, killing at least 44,000 a year.
If caught early, the infection can be controlled by antibiotics before the body goes into overdrive – ultimately leading to death within a matter of minutes.
Sepsis is a leading cause of avoidable death killing 44,000 people each year
But the early symptoms of sepsis can be easily confused with more mild conditions, meaning it can be difficult to diagnose.
A patient can rapidly deteriorate if sepsis is missed early on, so quick diagnosis and treatment is vital – yet this rarely happens.
In the early stages, sepsis can be mistaken for a chest infection, flu or upset stomach.
The six signs of something potentially deadly can be identified by the acronym ‘SEPSIS’:
- Slurred speech or confusion.
- Extreme shivering or muscle pain.
- Passing no urine in a day.
- Severe breathlessness.
- ‘I feel like I might die.’
- Skin that’s mottled or discoloured.
Anyone who develops any of these symptoms should seek medical help urgently — and ask doctors: ‘Could this be sepsis?’