From a simple cold to an aggressive flu, the world offers a whole host of issues that cause parents to worry over their kids.
Rarely ever is that worry about something so dangerous as sepsis, the body’s potentially fatal response to an infection that can cause tissue damage as well as organ failure.
It is so common that it remains a bigger killer than road traffic accident and breast, bowel, and prostate cancer combined.
It’s also due to sepsis that the parents of 11-week-old Chloe are speaking out. What turned into a simple video of Katie Gouldbourn filming Chloe sleeping eventually became a stark warning for parents the world over.
Katie took the video after noticing her daughter’s breathing was a bit off, and shared it with Chloe’s father Tom Pierce, who was working a shift as a firefighter for North Wales Fire and Rescue. He suggested she get medical help right away and left to meet them.
“Struggling to breathe — notice how Chloe’s stomach is being drawn in beneath her ribs as she breathes,” Katie later described for viewers. “Signs could also be chest dropping and head bobbing with each breath.”
Shortly after Katie and Chloe arrived at the doctor’s, those instincts paid off. Staff rushed to call an ambulance and began treating Chloe in the best way they could, leaving Katie to fear the worst for her daughter.
“She was on oxygen in the GP surgery before the paramedics arrived. I thought we’d lost her in the ambulance,” Katie said.
“You could tell how serious it was from the panic and resuscitation, they were all running around frantic desperately trying to stabilize her.”
Upon arriving at the hospital, Chloe’s parents finally learned what was causing their baby such distress: she was suffering from sepsis. The next couple of days would be rough as their daughter struggled to survive.
“Chloe went from being ‘off her food and a bit unsettled’ to fighting for her life in under 4 hours,” Katie wrote on her Facebook post, which has been shared by over 1 million viewers in an attempt to warn other parents about the signs and symptoms before it’s too late.
“Watching this video brings back all the fear from that night, however if I had known the symptoms that Chloe was displaying that afternoon were life-threatening, I could have acted quicker,” Katie admitted.
“This was an extremely difficult and personal time for our family, one we have thought long and hard about sharing,” Katie said. “Ultimately we decided that if it makes one parent check symptoms quicker — then something good can come from sharing this.”
But above all, Katie suggests that instinct is key to every parent and to always “seek further advice” when in a state of doubt, as it is better to be safe than sorry. As for her daughter, Chloe is recovering and was out of the hospital within a week.
“After a week in hospital with around the clock monitoring, countless tests and endless antibiotics/fluid pumped around her little body, and with the biggest thank you to 50+ NHS employees, Chloe is now home and doing well,” she added.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce — although we should say feisty, as described by many nurses and doctors.”
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