A Suffolk holiday-maker who nearly lost her life to sepsis has shared her story to ensure others do not miss vital warning signs.

Naomi Aldous, from Martlesham Heath, spent weeks in intensive care after falling ill while on holiday with her husband John and two friends in February 2020.

Her primary symptoms were stomach pain, weakness, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Suspecting she had a bug, Naomi decided to try and sleep it off.

As her symptoms worsened, her husband and friends decided to get emergency help.

Naomi woke up 19 days later in a Spanish intensive care unit, where she had been receiving treatment for septic shock, multiple organ failure and pneumonia.

“I deteriorated so quickly," she said.

"My skin had turned grey, I couldn’t stand up straight and I wasn’t making much sense when I spoke.

“I had no idea that I was so ill, but it was very scary for my husband and friends."

Naomi was intensive care for nearly four weeks and, at one point, became so unwell that medics even considered switching off life support machines.

"I was incredibly confused when I came round and found speaking very difficult, while I had also terrible nightmares, said Naomi.

"It was very traumatic.”

Naomi was eventually airlifted back to the UK and spent a further three weeks at Ipswich Hospital.

Doctors later discovered that she had been born with a blockage in her kidney which had become severely infected which, in turn, had led to sepsis.

“Without doubt, my husband, our friends and the hospitals saved my life," said Naomi.

"They saw how rapidly I deteriorated and knew it was something very serious.

“Trying to get better has been hard and I am still not fully recovered. But I am so grateful for the help I received and hope that I can now raise awareness among others.”

Sepsis happens when the immune system overreacts to an infection or injury. Although it can cause death, it can be successfully treated with antibiotics if it is diagnosed early.

Symptoms to look out for in adults include:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine (in a day)
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you’re going to die
  • Skin mottled or discoloured
  • In children, symptoms include fast breathing, convulsions, looking mottled, bluish or pale, being very lethargic and having a rash which does not fade when pressed.