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Dad has leg amputated after 'cold' turned out to be sepsis

Dave pictured with his wife and daughter

A man who thought he had a cold ended up having his leg amputated in a desperate bid to save his life.

Father-of-one Dave Cram had been playing football with friends ahead of a party to celebrate his 40th.

He had complained of feeling ill beforehand, but put it down to a cold. The DPD delivery driver suffered a minor injury during the match, and assumed it was a groin strain.

But that night Kenny was in agonising pain. And 24 hours after being sent home from hospital with painkillers he was diagnosed with sepsis.

With his wife Keely, 32, from Kinmel Bay, and his brother Lee at his bedside, he was put into a coma and is still in hospital now.

Dave's leg had to be amputated after suffering from sepsis

Lee said: "Basically Kenny's sepsis levels were so high that his chances of making it through the next day wasn't guaranteed.

"Sepsis travels around the body incredibly fast and can kill in 12 hours. We were told to prepare ourselves for the worst.

"The antibiotics needed to kick in and Kenny needed to begin the fight of his life.

"And fight he did. On the Wednesday night his heart rate dropped dangerously low, but Kenny fought back."

Over the next few days, his family and friends kept a vigil by his bed in a hospital in Blackpool where he lives now with Keely.

They were told it had got to the stage of septic shock, his kidneys and liver were failing, and he was put on two dialysis machines.

A consultant later told Lee that he had never seen anyone on two dialysis machines at once. He developed compartment syndrome, where his thigh muscle swelled and cut off the blood supply to the rest of his body.

Eight days later, medics had brought Kenny around from the induced coma.

But he had been left so physically weak, that during the night he suffered a cardiac arrest and then suffered two more the next day.

Dave, also known as Kenny, is likely to be in intensive care for several months

"On what was Kenny’s 40th birthday, when he should have been out celebrating with his family and friends, it was decided that his leg was too badly damaged and had to be amputated," Lee said.

"The dead tissue in his leg was now poisoning the rest of his body and would kill him, and we as a family were warned he may not survive the operation."

Lee said: "Before this happened, he was a fit and healthy 39-year- old who had an active job delivering packages for DPD and running round after his five-year old daughter, Robyn Ava, who he adores."

He said his brother will never give up fighting, so that he can watch his little girl grow up. The couple battled through years of IVF treatment to have her.

"All my brother will want to do is hold Keeley and Robyn in his arms, and to grow old with his amazing wife," said Lee.

The family have launched a Just Giving fund raising page to raise £10,000 for Kenny, who is likely to be in intensive care for several months - and it has already exceeded the target.

"The money will be used to spend on adaptations to his home when he recovers, and put towards the best prosthetic leg that money can buy, or to help them cover their bills as Kenny is self-employed," Lee added.

  • What is sepsis?

Although sepsis is often referred to as either blood poisoning or septicaemia, these terms refer to the invasion of bacteria into the bloodstream.

Sepsis can affect multiple organs or the entire body, even without blood poisoning or septicaemia.

Sepsis can also be caused by viral or fungal infections, although bacterial infections are by far the most common cause.

Sepsis can come from something as simple as a cut or maybe from an invasive procedure like surgery. It can initially manifest itself as something like a chest infection or a gastric infection or flu-like symptoms.

It kills more people than strokes and more than lung cancer in Wales, but if caught early, it is treatable.

This video recorded with Terence Canning from the Sepsis Trust explains how sepsis can "come from anything" because it is "not the infection you have but your body's reaction to it."