Man who lost his face, arms and legs to a blood infection describes devastation of recovery

Credit: ITV News

A man whose lips, legs and arms were consumed by a severe blood infection has described to ITV News the toll that his horrific injuries took on his family.

Tom Ray, then aged 38, suffered a small cut to his mouth during a trip to the dentist which quickly developed into sepsis, a life-threatening blood infection.

He spent three months in a coma with his life hanging in the balance as his immune system went into overdrive, attacking his internal organs.

When he finally woke, he learned that surgeons had been forced to amputate his lower legs and lower arms in a desperate bid to check the infection.

His lips and part of his tongue had also been removed after they shut down.

I was a 38-year-old husband and father.

Tom Ray

Mr Ray, now aged 54, told ITV News Presenter Mark Austin how he descended into depression as he tried to come to terms with his extent of his injuries and the effect on his wife and two children.

At his lowest he felt “too much of a burden for them to carry” and often considered “disappearing” or taking his own life, he said.

Meanwhile, his wife Nic, who was pregnant with the couple's second child when he become ill, said that struggling to cope with his new disabilities had nearly cost them their marriage.

At one point, unable to bear the stress, she packed her bags and left with the children - but came back after half a day.

The couple said that they managed to fight back for the sake of their family, and are now campaigning together for greater awareness of the risks of sepsis.

Mr Ray's personal story has also been turned into film, Starfish, which will open in cinemas on October 28.