A mother spent six weeks in the hospital fighting for her life when back pain turned out to be deadly sepsis.
Jo Tucker, 45, of Bedworth, Warwickshire, thought he awkwardly slept when he woke up sore one morning in October 2018.
But the next morning, she vomited with pain, had a fever and was disoriented.
Discovered in agony early in the morning by her daughter, Ms. Tucker rushed to the hospital where the doctors performed the tests.
Eventually a sepsis was diagnosed, a killer reaction to an infection, in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues. But the cause of his sepsis is still unknown.
Ms. Tucker spent six weeks in the hospital for treatment, fearing she would die.
But even months after her trial, she suffers from post-sepsis syndrome (PSS), causing exhaustion, memory problems and hair loss.
Jo Tucker, 45, of Bedworth, Warwickshire, thought he awkwardly slept when he woke up with a backache one morning in October 2018
The mother ended up fighting life-threatening sepsis for six weeks in the hospital
Ms. Tucker, who does not work, but whose partner Paul Kelly, 50, is an IT consultant, said: "Moving from being absolutely good to almost dying was a huge shock, so now my body is just trying to compose itself.
"I was left in ruins … there is no other word for this.
& # 39; Panic and anxiety struck from nothing, but I think it comes from the shock of being a good minute, then almost dying next.
"No one knows what caused my sepsis, so it could happen again. I'm trying to move on and not be a hypochondriac, panicked for any pain I feel, but this was so traumatic."
In view of her nightmare, Ms. Tucker was healthy and walked between four and five miles (6.4 km – 8 km) a day with her dog Labradoodle, Austin.
But, on the morning of October 2nd of last year, he woke up with a crumpled agonizing in the back.
He said: "I thought I had just slept in a fun way, so I made sure I rested that day. People kept telling me to sleep on the floor, because apparently a hard surface is good for pain.
"The next morning, though, it was even worse. I was literally vomiting with pain."
Heading to an overtime doctor, Mrs. Tucker was told that she had probably pulled a muscle and was given naproxen, a medicine that reduces inflammation.
As the day passed, the tablets did not work and she started having fever.
Then, in the early hours of October 4, her daughter Danielle, 22, woke up around 4 am to get ready for her job in a warehouse to find her mom almost delirious with pain.
Ms. Tucker said: "I told her to call Paul and call an ambulance. It's not like I'm dramatic, so she knew I was serious.
Ms. Tucker suffers from post-sepsis syndrome (PSS), causing exhaustion, memory problems and hair loss, which could last up to 18 months
Dr. Tucker was initially informed by a doctor who had probably pulled a muscle and was given Naproxen, a medicine that reduces inflammation.
Mrs. Tucker was terrified and thought she would die when the doctors transferred her to a specialized unit at Coventry University Hospital
"The paramedics came and I was told that, if it was just back pain, there wasn't much that could be done for me at the hospital.
"But a voice inside me pushed me to go, telling me that something even more sinister was happening."
At the George Eliot (COR) hospital in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, Ms. Tucker carried out a series of tests, including two lumbar punctures, a procedure in which a hollow needle is inserted into the spinal canal to test the fluid , which he described as "traumatic".
She was diagnosed with sepsis, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body's response to an infection causes damage to its tissues and organs.
It leads to shock, to multiple organ failure and, potentially, to death especially if not recognized early and treated promptly.
The doctors transferred Ms. Tucker to the Coventry specialist university hospital, which was seriously ill at the time and feared the worst.
Ms. Tucker said: "I thought I would die. I took some photos during those two weeks and when I look back now, it's like seeing a different person. I was so close to death.
"I don't remember much of the first two weeks spent in the hospital, because I was so full of drugs, but it must have been terrible for Paul and Danielle too."
Slowly, Mrs. Tucker began to get better, but faced another arrest when the doctors found an abscess on her spine, causing her agonizing pain.
In total, he spent six weeks in the hospital, during which he had to learn to walk again due to muscle wasting.
Ms. Tucker said: "I didn't imagine it could happen that fast. I was like a child, finding my feet again.
After being discharged with an IV, Ms. Tucker was visited every day by a nurse until December.
Ms. Tucker is still fighting the lasting damage now, taking medicines like the one in the picture
PSS caused Mrs. Tucker's hair loss. He said he "feels 90 years old" due to exhaustion
But it became clear that his ordeal was far from finished, as it was soon affected by the SSP, a condition that affects up to 50 percent of sepsis survivors.
According to the charitable organization The UK Sepsis Trust, which estimates that five people are killed for sepsis every hour in the UK, PSS has no specific treatment.
It usually gets better with time, but can last from six to eighteen months.
The symptoms include lethargy, hair loss, poor appetite, reduced kidney function, anxiety and short-term memory loss – all that Mrs. Tucker lived.
He said: "It's awful how suddenly sepsis can take hold. I'm still fighting the lasting damage now.
& # 39; Because I look good and I am no longer in the hospital, people assume that I am well but, in reality, I will never be the same, physically or emotionally.
"My arms are still sore to the point where I can't wash my hair, and it took me a month to strengthen my strength to be able to walk to the store. I feel like I'm about 90 years old."
Mrs. Tucker – who continues to be monitored by doctors – has no choice but to wait and see how long her symptoms will last.
Unfortunately, with a few specific treatments at his disposal, he said he felt like he was left alone to deal with the consequences of his near-death experience.
In view of her nightmare, Mrs. Tucker, who is now unable to work, was in good health and walked between four and five miles a day with her dog-shaped Labradoodle Austin
"I know the national health service is too tense, but I feel like I just left it to wait and see what happens," he said. "I understand that I am no longer an emergency, but I am still doing a lot of work.
& # 39; People do not understand the enormous side effects that sepsis can have. & # 39;
Ms. Tucker hopes to raise awareness of the PSS and urge others to seek help immediately if they feel sick.
He said: "You know your body, so if you don't feel right, don't take an answer and fight for tests and treatments.
& # 39; I'm doing my best to get on with things, and I know it doesn't serve to keep looking back, but life won't be the same for me after this. & # 39;
WHAT IS SEPSIS?
Sepsis occurs when the body reacts to an infection by attacking its own organs and tissues.
About 44,000 people die of sepsis each year in the UK. Worldwide, someone dies from the condition every 3.5 seconds.
Sepsis has flu-like symptoms, gastroenteritis and a chest infection.
- Sspoken speech or confusion
- ISxtreme chills or muscle pain
- Passing without urine in a day
- II seem to die
- Smottled or discolored relatives
The symptoms in children are:
- Fast breathing
- Strength or convulsions
- Mottled, bluish or pale skin
- Rashes that do not vanish if pressed
- Abnormally cold sensation
Under five can repeatedly vomit, not feed or urinate for 12 hours.
Anyone can develop sepsis, but it is more common in people who have recently had surgery, have a urinary catheter or stayed in the hospital for a long period of time.
Other people at risk include those with weak immune systems, chemotherapy patients, pregnant women, the elderly and the very young.
Treatment varies depending on the site of infection but involves antibiotics, IV fluids and oxygen, if necessary.
Source: UK Sepsis Trust is NHS Choices