Family raises funds for sepsis survivor
Jay Phillips and his wife Lisa.
12th May 2021
By Juliet Lunam
Family and friends of a Truro man who nearly died from sepsis are fund-raising to help him adjust to life as a triple amputee.
Jay Phillips, 39, came down with what he thought was flu last November. When his condition deteriorated and he developed a rash, his wife Lisa called 999.
Sepsis is a condition in which the body over-reacts to an infection or injury, causing the immune system to attack its own organs and tissues.
It can kill in less than 24 hours and can affect anyone of any age, regardless of pre-existing health conditions.
Jay – who was previously fit and healthy – was put on life support at Treliske Hospital where doctors found he had pneumonia and two infected heart valves, which had triggered sepsis.
Lisa said: “His body couldn’t cope with the level of infection he had, which is why his organs had started to fail. The outlook for my amazing husband wasn’t good. By far the worst days of my life.”
They managed to stabilise him before transferring him to The Royal Brompton Hospital in London for life-saving surgery on his heart.
After a month, Jay was returned to Treliske but was then transferred again, this time to Salisbury Hospital specialist plastic surgery unit, where he underwent amputation surgery on both lower legs and his left arm, with complex reconstruction surgery on his right arm.
Through all of this, because of covid, Jay’s family and friends could not be with him and because of the muscle damage he had sustained Jay was unable to move his arms or hands, so could not even stay in touch on his phone.
Lisa has been travelling the 360-mile round trip to Salisbury to visit once a week but their son Jack has only been able to see his dad once in nearly six months.
Jay lost more than four stones and is fighting to regain the weight and muscle lost – his swallow muscles were even affected which made eating impossible.
He has now started a ten-week stay at the prosthetics and amputation rehabilitation centre in London, which is the final stretch before he will return home.
In the meantime, his friends and family are fund-raising to fund adaptations to the family home, including a downstairs wet room, a stairlift, a wheelchair and prosthetics, among other things.
More than £16,000 has been raised so far.
Lisa said: “The response from everyone blows me away. The comments are so kind; I read them to Jay over the phone and he nearly cries more than me. He is doing well and is trying his hardest to stay positive and upbeat.
“He misses family and friends a lot, especially Jack, but knowing how much support he has really helps him through.”
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