You may remember I recently wrote about Alder Hey’s Children’s Charity appeal and the great work that they do at the hospital. Every year Alder Hey care for over 275,000 patients and their families. These families are great supporters of the fundraising appeal. They agreed to share their stories with the public to help raise awareness.
Today I have the opportunity to introduce you to Archie and share his story. Please do have a read and if you can, support this worthwhile cause.
In March 2014, Archie was flown to Alder Hey from his local hospital in the Isle of Man with a suspected infection.
Archie had started to complain about backache. The pain became severe and after a couple of trips to his local doctors surgery, he was taken by ambulance to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). His condition rapidly deteriorated. He needed to be sedated and brought to the ICU at Alder Hey.
Fighting for his life, the doctors made the decision that in addition to ventilation, he needed to be connected to an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (EMO) machine. This machine took over the function of his heart and lungs, helping deliver oxygen into his blood.
He had blood tests which finally confirmed he had a Staphylococcus infection.
This is a group of bacteria that produce a rare toxin called Panton-Valentine Leukocidin (PVL) targeting his heart, lungs and muscles. The infection had caused severe sepsis. Archie had to be sedated for three weeks so they could provide the necessary intensive treatment.
After 47 days of ICU, Archie was able to be moved to Alder Hey’s specialist neurology ward for rehabilitation. He spent four months in hospital.
From day one, Archie’s parents agreed for medical staff to involve Archie in research.
During his time in ICU he had blood taken regularly as part of his care. A small amount of which was used for research.
The study looked at generic reasons why people may suffer from life threatening infections and why different people with the same condition have different levels of severity.
After a lot of treatment, Archie was able to return to the Isle of Man to continue with his physiotherapy.
It’s been over a year and Archie is working hard to recover. He no longer uses a wheelchair and is progressing well.
In April 2015 he was invited to address a one day infection conference in Liverpool and he spoke poignantly about the importance of early diagnosis of sepsis. Archie knows it could have been a different story if he had not received the life-saving treatment at Alder Hey.
If you would like to help Alder Hey with their fundraising or to donate to the cause then you can find ways to help here.