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Sepsis survivor from Gravesend beat illness at just a week old

A Lego-loving youngster who survived sepsis when he was just a week old has pulled up his socks to raise awareness of the life-threatening illness.

Jack Godfrey, from Gravesend, also won £100 in a competition from the charity Sepsis Research (FEAT), after it organised the Sock it to Sepsis fundraiser.

Sepsis survivor Jack Godfrey won £100. Picture: Brian Currie PR
Sepsis survivor Jack Godfrey won £100. Picture: Brian Currie PR

The campaign is run every September to raise money to fund vital research and people are encouraged to wear red and white striped socks and send pictures of themselves into the charity.

Little Jack, who is almost three now, won over the judging panel with his cheeky smile and long, stripy socks.

His reason for getting involved is a life-saving one.

Just a few days after Jack was born, he was blue-lighted to Darent Valley Hospital in Dartford where he was treated for the illness.

His mum Emma said: “Jack is now a strong, cheeky little boy but I still get very nervous every time he seems under the weather.

“When Jack became ill, he didn’t have the normal signs of sepsis that are publicised on posters, the red book on children’s health or on the sides of ambulances.”

Jack's mum believes more lives will be saved if people learn about sepsis and its dangers and is urging greater support for Sepsis Research so more people recognise the symptoms and the need to seek treatment urgently.

Sepsis Research (FEAT) is the only UK charity dedicated to raising funds for research into the illness and is currently supporting a project at Edinburgh University’s renowned Roslin Institute aimed at finding better ways to combat it.

Colin Graham, the charity’s chief operating officer, said: “Jack’s case shows how sepsis can strike at any age.

"Thankfully, his doctor spotted the symptoms and the treatment was effective and we’re delighted that he’s grown into such a happy little boy.

“But that is not always the case and, as well as being life-threatening, sepsis can leave people with life-change consequences including loss of limbs.”

Jack has decided to spend his winnings on getting more Lego and other games.

Sepsis is the number one cause of preventable death in the world. It can kill a healthy adult in a matter of hours but is one of the least well-recognised diseases which can be hard to diagnose.

It happens when your body’s response to an infection spirals rapidly out of control, injuring its own tissues and organs. Even with modern intensive medical care, sepsis can quickly lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death.

Symptoms may include very high or low temperature, uncontrollable shivering, rapid heart beat and fast or difficult breathing.

In some cases, symptoms of more severe sepsis develop soon after, including feeling dizzy or faint, confusion or slurred speech, not passing as much urine as normal and cold or blotchy hands and feet.

Find out more at www.sepsisresearch.org.uk/

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