A man from Derbyshire is set to undergo a life-altering operation, just two days before his 21st birthday, which will see him lose both his lower legs.
Levi Dewey, of Willington, will have the surgery within the next few days after he contracted a form of flu, pneumonia and later sepsis.
Levi’s family say doctors told them he was one of the sickest patients in the country at the time and was given a 30% chance of survival.
The 20-year-old was a sporty lad who lived a fun and active lifestyle - playing football for Willington FC and being a lifelong Derby County fan.
He’d previously attended John Port Spencer Academy in Etwall, and completed an apprenticeship at age 16 for JCB, before taking up a job there full-time.
But On December 7, 2022, Levi was taken to Royal Derby Hospital with flu-like symptoms and breathing difficulties. His condition deteriorated and Levi, who now works as a welder at JCB, went into septic shock and had multi-organ failure.
Doctors discovered that he was suffering from influenza B and pneumococcal pneumonia.
Levi’s mum, Lara Dewey, 47, said: “We were told fairly early on that Levi could potentially lose his legs and need an operation, we were prepared for this outcome if it was to save his life.
“Obviously, it’s going to be life-changing for everyone, but this is something we can work through as a family and we have such a strong and positive support network. Levi has always had a positive mindset and his glass is always half full.”
After taking a turn for the worse in Derby’s intensive therapy unit, Levi was transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester to receive ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and full organ support.
He spent 20 days on ECMO - 14 of which were in an induced coma. Levi was gradually taken off organ support and, after 31 days, he was taken off a ventilator.
On 9 January, Levi was moved back to Royal Derby for ongoing care, but two days later, he was informed that due to the severity of his sepsis he had contracted, he would need below-knee amputation on both of his legs.
Now, his family are fundraising to help him walk again - and have already raised more than £52,000 as of 20 January.
Mum Lara, a child practitioner, said: “Initially we were looking to raise £10,000 but as you can see this has been exceeded and the response has been extremely overwhelming.
“It’s overwhelming and emotional and we are all speechless. It’s amazing how supportive friends, family, colleagues, communities and also strangers have been towards this cause and also their generosity.
“Initially the money will be used to buy Levi a wheelchair and for home improvements, including ramps and showering facilities. Once he’s able to walk again we will look at buying him the best prosthetic limbs possible privately and any further equipment he will need.”