Mother, 53, loses seven toes and has parts of her feet amputated after they ...

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Ruth Kent, 53, from Northampton, felt 'lousy' for two days last November - but she assumed it was because she had the flu

Ruth Kent, 53, from Northampton, felt 'lousy' for two days last November - but she assumed it was because she had the flu

A mother who dismissed her aches and shivering as being down to the flu needed parts of her feet amputated after battling sepsis. 

Ruth Kent, 53, from Northampton, felt 'lousy' for two days last November - but she assumed it was because of the common winter illness.

However, the support worker ended up being rushed to intensive care with sepsis - a deadly immune response to an infection.

Doctors found that the meningococcal meningitis bacteria had triggered the sepsis, causing her hands, feet and face to allegedly turn black. At one point, Ms Kent says nurses were 'scraping' black tissue from her nose and feet.

Her family were told to 'prepare themselves' for the worst, amid fears Ms Kent would succumb to the killer reaction. 

But miraculously she pulled through after two months in hospital, despite needing seven toes amputated, as well as parts of her sides and soles of her feet, after they rotted away. 

Ms Kent, who is now reliant on a wheelchair after her near-death battle, has praised her 27-year-old son Mickey for saving her life. She has not yet been given a time-line for when she can get prosthetic replacements.

He called an ambulance after he noticed she had lost controls of her bowels during a nap on the sofa, which is when she was rushed to hospital. 

She said: 'Before that I was perfectly healthy. I was quite active because I have three dogs that I walk everyday and I cycle to work. 

'I deteriorated very, very quickly. It was really scary. My son saved my life that day. If he hadn't have been there, I would have been a goner.

'I had no inclination that it was sepsis. If I'd have known more I might have gone to the doctors earlier.

However, the support worker ended up being rushed to intensive care with sepsis - a deadly immune response to an infection (pictured in hospital having her hair done)

However, the support worker ended up being rushed to intensive care with sepsis - a deadly immune response to an infection (pictured in hospital having her hair done)

Doctors found that the meningococcal meningitis bacteria had triggered the sepsis, causing her hands, feet and face to allegedly turn black. At one point, Ms Kent says nurses were 'scraping' black tissue from her nose and feet

Doctors found that the meningococcal meningitis bacteria had triggered the sepsis, causing her hands, feet and face to allegedly turn black. At one point, Ms Kent says nurses were 'scraping' black tissue from her nose and feet

Miraculously, she pulled through after two months in hospital, despite needing seven toes amputated, as well as parts of her sides and soles of her feet, after they rotted away

Miraculously, she pulled through after two months in hospital, despite needing seven toes amputated, as well as parts of her sides and soles of her feet, after they rotted away

Pictured, the sole and side of her foot after it was ravaged by sepsis

The sole of her foot is pictured during her near-death battle

Sepsis can cause the body's clotting mechanism to go into overdrive, which causes blood vessels to become blocked

Pictured, Ms Kent's toes after they turned black

Ms Kent's toes turned black because of sepsis

When blood cannot pass through blood vessels, the body's tissues miss out on oxygen and vital nutrients, which causes them to die. If too much tissue dies, it has to be removed

Pictured: The side and sole of Ms Kent's right foot, after it was attacked by sepsis

Pictured: The side and sole of Ms Kent's right foot, after it was attacked by sepsis

Her family were told to 'prepare themselves' for the worst, amid fears Ms Kent would succumb to the killer reaction (pictured with her fiancé Mick)

Her family were told to 'prepare themselves' for the worst, amid fears Ms Kent would succumb to the killer reaction (pictured with her fiancé Mick)

'It was just normal cold symptoms at the beginning, like shivering or aching. I didn't have a headache or anything like that.

'I remember a few years ago I saw something in the paper about a man who'd cut himself gardening and developed sepsis.

'That was the extent of my knowledge. It was the only knowledge I had and I want to raise awareness.' 

Sepsis can cause the body's clotting mechanism to go into overdrive, which causes blood vessels to become blocked.

When blood cannot pass through blood vessels, the body's tissues miss out on oxygen and vital nutrients, which causes them to die. If too much tissue dies, it has to be removed.

After suffering with a weakened immune system since being a child, Ms Kent was often 'floored' by colds.

Ms Kent said on the third day of her cold - November 2 - she rang into work sick and had to stay in bed all day.

She said: 'I'd been taking the cold and flu tablets and normally they get me through, but my son said I sounded awful.

'That night I woke up and I had messed myself in bed. When I went to stand up, I noticed my feet were absolutely killing me.

'When I went downstairs to the bathroom, I didn't turn the lights on so I didn't notice anything was wrong.

'My partner woke up at 6am the following day [November 3] and brought me a cup of tea, then the same thing happened. It went straight through me again. It wasn't nice.'

Paramedics rushed her to Northampton General Hospital, where she was placed in intensive care (pictured in hospital)

Paramedics rushed her to Northampton General Hospital, where she was placed in intensive care (pictured in hospital)

Ms Kent, who is now reliant on a wheelchair after her near-death battle, has praised her 27-year-old son Mickey (pictured together on his graduation day) for saving her life

Ms Kent, who is now reliant on a wheelchair after her near-death battle, has praised her 27-year-old son Mickey (pictured together on his graduation day) for saving her life

WHAT IS SEPSIS? 

Sepsis occurs when the body reacts to an infection by attacking its own organs and tissues.

Some 44,000 people die from sepsis every year in the UK. Worldwide, someone dies from the condition every 3.5 seconds.

Sepsis has similar symptoms to flu, gastroenteritis and a chest infection.

These include:

S lurred speech or confusion E xtreme shivering or muscle pain P assing no urine in a day S evere breathlessness I t feels like you are dying S kin mottled or discoloured

Symptoms in children are:

Fast breathing Fits or convulsions Mottled, bluish or pale skin Rashes that do not fade when pressed Lethargy Feeling abnormally cold

Under fives may be vomiting repeatedly, not feeding or not urinating for 12 hours.

Anyone can develop sepsis but it is most common in people who have recently had surgery, have a urinary catheter or have stayed in hospital for a long time.

Other at-risk people include those with weak immune systems, chemotherapy patients, pregnant women, the elderly and

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