Adele thanks staff who saved her life

Adele Joicey with Dr Chris Yeoman when she returned to North Tyneside General Hospital to thank staff for saving her life and to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis. Picture by Gavin Duthie Photography.
Adele Joicey with Dr Chris Yeoman when she returned to North Tyneside General Hospital to thank staff for saving her life and to raise awareness of the signs of sepsis. Picture by Gavin Duthie Photography.

A mother-of-four has thanked quick-thinking medical staff who helped save her life.

Adele Joicey visited North Tyneside General Hospital last week to say thank you to doctors and nurses as part of her work highlighting one of the UK’s biggest killers.

To mark World Sepsis Day (September 13), the 40-year-old is working with Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as part of a major £433,000 project to help tackle sepsis in its hospitals.

Adele has shared her story which will be used to educate staff about the signs and symptoms of the condition – also referred to as septicaemia or blood poisoning – and the treatment required in the crucial first hour.

Adele went to A&E at the hospital on August 28 feeling unwell. With her high temperature and heart rate, the triage nurse quickly spotted she was seriously ill and she was taken straight in to see a doctor who administered a set of interventions known as ‘sepsis six’.

These worked well for Adele and she was soon able to be transferred to Ward 18 and after a few days she was well enough to go home.

Adele, from Forest Hall, said: “I couldn’t have received better treatment.

“The team in A&E were lovely and without them I wouldn’t have been around to celebrate my twins’ first birthday.

“I wish I’d known more about sepsis as I didn’t recognise the signs. I was just going to head to bed with some painkillers.

“When I called in sick at work my manager was so concerned about how I sounded he sent a member of the team round who then talked me into going to hospital. If I had just gone to bed as I planned I’d probably be dead.”

Dr Chris Yeoman, the junior doctor who treated Adele, said: “You hear about sepsis at medical school however it’s not until you start to see patients that it really hits home how serious a condition it is and how little people know about the symptoms.

“Adele was really fortunate that she came into A&E when she did and she was diagnosed early. Here at Northumbria, the sepsis campaign is really visible and I think it is a great way of raising awareness and reminding staff of what to do and, in Adele’s case, it has shown that it really does save lives.”

Dr Eliot Sykes, consultant in anaesthesia and intensive care who is leading the sepsis campaign at Northumbria Healthcare, said: “Sepsis is a key focus for the trust as we strive to deliver safe and effective care to all of our patients.

“With calls nationally for more to be done to reduce the number of deaths from sepsis, we are proud to be leading the way on this important safety priority.

“As Adele’s story shows, sepsis can strike at any time and it could have had devastating effects if she hadn’t attended A&E when she did and our staff hadn’t have acted so quickly.

“The actions of our staff demonstrate that our sepsis campaign is raising awareness of the symptoms, however with 9,000 staff across a host of community and hospital sites across Northumberland and North Tyneside, we must spread the message as far and as wide as we can to in order to save more lives.”

Sepsis is the body’s reaction to an infection and means the body attacks its own organs and tissues. Nationally it accounts for 37,000 deaths every year – more than bowel, breast and prostate cancer put together.