A mother who tragically lost her young son to sepsis has released a heartbreaking video to mark Sepsis Awareness Month.
Melissa Mead’s little boy William passed away in 2014, after suffering from sepsis caused by an underlying chest infection and pneumonia. Despite seeking medical advice, the condition was not spotted by GPs, out-of-hours services and a 111 call handler.
Their story was featured widely in the press at the time, and almost two years later Melissa is still continuing to campaign for awareness, as well as recording her journey through grief on her blog and Facebook page, A Mother Without a Child.
She is now also expecting her second child, and opens the emotional clip by expressing her sadness that the pair will never have the chance to meet.
‘Here is his little sibling, due in September 2016,’ she writes on one of the cards that she holds up to the camera throughout the recording.
‘I will never have a picture of them together. Because William lives in heaven now, and they will never meet.’
Visibly upset as she shares her story, Melissa continues, ‘Just 17 days after his 1st birthday, William died from sepsis. I found him in his cot. My baby was gone.’
She adds that before William’s passing, she’d never even heard of the condition, saying ‘The first time I saw the word sepsis was on William’s death certificate’ – but the condition is not rare in any sense of the word.
‘Sepsis is the body’s reaction to an infection. It injures its own tissues and organs. It leads to shock, multiple organ failure and death,’ Melissa explains. ‘Every 3.5 seconds someone in the world dies from sepsis.’
She goes on to share some shocking facts about sepsis, including the fact that it kills more people than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined, and that it’s the biggest cause of death in pregnant women in the UK.
If caught early enough, sepsis can be treated with antibiotics and fluids, at the cost of around £90.
‘Would you pay £90 to save your loved ones life?’ Melissa asks. ‘I thought so’.
‘I promised William that I would raise as much awareness of sepsis as I could. This month, September, is Sepsis Awareness Month. So I’m asking you to help me keep my promise. It’s really very simple!’
She then asks viewers to share the information that they’ve just learned, and text seps77 with an amount (£2, £5 etc) to 70070 to raise much needed funds to save lives.
‘Sepsis stole William’s life. He will never say his first words, never have a first day at school, get married or have children. He did not deserve that,’ she concludes.
‘My hope is that no other family has to lose their child, parent or friend to sepsis when it could be avoided. This is William’s legacy.’
Since it was uploaded less than 24 hours ago, the video has been shared almost 40,000 times and received 756,000 views.
‘Shared. God bless you for everything you do for your beautiful boy William and for so many others,’ one commenter wrote, whilst another agreed, ‘Omg my heart just breaks for you… I just don’t have the words…wishing you and your family all the best for the future.’