Peterborough mum's sepsis journey viewed millions of times on TikTok

Sadie Kemp posts regular videos to her 240,000 followers on TikTok, explaining her situation and answering questions. Credit: sadiessepsisjourney/TikTok

A mum-of-two from Peterborough has been documenting her recovery from sepsis to an audience of hundreds of thousands of viewers on TikTok.

Sadie Kemp, 34, has more than 478,000 followers on the app and her videos have been liked 8.5 million times - figures that are rapidly growing.

Her account, called Sadie's Sepsis Journey, was started following an incident which changed her life forever.

On Christmas Day last year, she was rushed to hospital with an infected kidney stone.

That quickly led to her body going into septic shock and her being put into an induced coma and on life support for 10 days.

When she woke up, she found out she had been left with life-changing injuries - she had lost all of her fingers and would need to have her legs amputated.

"I had Christmas dinner at 2.30pm, and by 5.15pm I was fighting for my life"

Ms Kemp, who is a mum to a teenage boy and his two-year-old brother, was working for NHS Test and Trace before she became unwell.

While she is being cared for, friends have set up a fundraising page to help with bills, nursery fees and getting her advanced prosthetics to enable her to live her life as normally as possible.

So far, more than £40,000 has been raised.

In one video, a plastic surgeon explains how he saved Sadie's hand

Since she started posting, Ms Kemp has received lots of encouragement from supporters on social media, who have praised the honest and lighthearted way she approaches her situation.

One of the ways she does this is by nicknaming her hand "Shark" because of its appearance - though she's since had her third surgery on it which may change its appearance once again.

Her next operation on her hand is on 4 May - after that doctors will move onto her lower limbs.

"I feel really grateful that I've got Shark because I wasn't going to have any arms"

What is sepsis?

Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection. It happens when the body's immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage its own tissues and organs. It is not possible to catch sepsis from another person. Sepsis is sometimes called septicaemia or blood poisoning.

What are the signs of sepsis?

According to the NHS, you should call 999 or go to A&E if a baby or young child has any of these symptoms:

  • Blue, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue;

  • A rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis;

  • Difficulty breathing (you may notice grunting noises or their stomach sucking under their ribcage), breathlessness or breathing very fast;

  • A weak, high-pitched cry that's not like their normal cry;

  • Not responding like they normally do, or not being interested in feeding or normal activities;

  • Being sleepier than normal or difficult to wake.

For an adult or older child, look out for:

  • Acting confused, slurred speech or not making sense;

  • Blue, pale or blotchy skin, lips or tongue;

  • A rash that does not fade when you roll a glass over it, the same as meningitis;

  • Difficulty breathing, breathlessness or breathing very fast.

Call 111 if you, your child or someone you look after:

  • Feels very unwell or like there's something seriously wrong;

  • Has not had a pee all day (for adults and older children) or in the last 12 hours (for babies and young children);

  • Keeps vomiting and cannot keep any food or milk down (for babies and young children);

  • Has swelling, redness or pain around a cut or wound;

  • Has a very high or low temperature, feels hot or cold to the touch, or is shivering.

The 111 service is able to tell you what to do, arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor, or call an ambulance.