By Alyce Collins
THIS TEACHER caught a potentially fatal superbug which sent her body into shutdown after being admitted into hospital for routine treatment for a kidney infection.
Primary school teacher Rosie Summers (32) from Surrey, UK thought she had just picked up a urinary infection in March earlier this year, but the next day after discovering her condition she found herself unable to stand and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
After a four day stay in hospital to treat what she discovered was a kidney infection, Rosie was soon discharged without knowing she had contracted an incredibly contagious superbug, called C-Difficile, that was present in the hospital.
Just two weeks after having left the hospital, Rosie was re-admitted into the hospital with a case of severe sepsis and C-Diff which were sending her body into shut down. Doctors treated both of the diseases with separate medications, without knowing she was allergic to the sepsis medication and she was declining further.
“I have had a kidney infection once before, so I was familiar with the pain, so I knew my water infection had spread,” said Rosie.
“I still went to work and was feeling really unwell, so I saw my GP who didn’t mention sepsis but just said to keep an eye on my symptoms and let him know if I felt worse.
“The next day I took my son to school and I could barely walk home. I was shaking, I had a fever and was aching all over my body. Throughout the day my symptoms got worse, so I rang up 111 who sent an ambulance for me.
“By this point I was vomiting and couldn’t stand and I had no way of getting to the hospital.
“So, I was admitted, and I stayed for four days until I was discharged. I was treated with antibiotics through an IV, but I still felt very unwell and weak.”
Rosie left the hospital in March after doctors believed she had recovered for the most part and was healthy enough to return home. In the two weeks that followed, she returned to the hospital twice when she felt unwell but only stayed a couple of hours.
During those two weeks, Rosie had severe vomiting and diarrhoea every day and night, resulting in her weight dropping from 8st 10lbs down to just 7st 10lbs in just a fortnight.
The kidney infection that Rosie had caught in March followed by the superbug infection caused Rosie to contract sepsis, a deadly auto-immune disease which shuts the body down.
“I researched the symptoms myself and then told my GP to test me for the superbug C-Diff, which came back positive,” Rosie said.
“I’d caught C-Diff whilst I was in hospital and so I was re-admitted just two weeks after with severe sepsis which was caused by C-Diff.
“C-Diff is incredibly contagious and can be deadly to vulnerable patients.
“This time in the hospital, I had allergic reactions to the antibiotics used to treat sepsis as my body was shutting down completely. They had to treat sepsis and the superbug with two different medications and I was put in hospital isolation for a week.
“My friends and family were worried and scared that I wouldn’t recover.
“Thankfully the alternative medication worked. When I was isolated I felt very vulnerable, but I knew I had to stay strong and focus on my recovery, so I spent the whole time planning how I was going to overhaul my health to make sure this didn’t happen again.”
After a week of IV antibiotics and constant care, Rosie was discharged once again from the hospital, and finished taking medication two weeks after leaving the hospital.
It took another six weeks for Rosie to build up enough strength to return to normal working hours after suffering with severe exhaustion as a result of the battle her body had faced.
“I feel really proud of myself for staying strong mentally throughout as it was such a struggle to be positive at times when I was faced with the prospect of dying,” added Rosie.
“At first I would get extremely exhausted after doing minor things such as food shopping or walking down the road. I had to work on gradually building up my strength and stamina.
“Now I’m overly-cautious every time I feel unwell and I’m scared of being hospitalised again because being in isolation was quite traumatic.
“I’m now extremely conscious of my health. I drink lots of water, take vitamins every day, I eat healthily and I’m vigilant about any symptoms of illness that ever occur.
“I suffered emotionally for a long time and I still live in fear every time I feel unwell because it brings back the memories of it all.
“I think the healing process will take a very long time.
“It’s important to learn the symptoms of sepsis and watch out for them if you get any type of illness or infection. Be so vigilant about ensuring that your voice gets heard.
“If the doctors dismiss you and say that you just have a virus, demand a blood test. If I hadn’t been proactive in seeking medical help, I could have died.”
Rosie is now back to working full-time and she has rebuilt her body’s strength through a healthy diet, drinking two litres of water every day and taking supplements to boost her immune system.
You can see more of Rosie’s incredible recovery by visiting her Instagram, @_rosie_1_x