Insect bite left Dorset paramedic in hospital with sepsis

Wayne Ingram in ambulance
Wayne volunteered as a helicopter medic during the first wave of the pandemic, transferring Covid-19 patients from Shetland Islands to the mainland. Credit: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

A South Western Ambulance paramedic from Weymouth is celebrating being made an MBE after recovering from severe sepsis.

Wayne Ingram developed severe sepsis in June 2021 after being bitten by an insect while walking his dog, and spent more than a week in hospital.

Wayne added: “It came on very quickly and knocked me for six. But I received fantastic care and a lot of antibiotics - and I’m fully recovered now.”

Now the former solider is celebrating after being awarded an MBE in the 2021 Queen's birthday honours list for his fundraising efforts.

Wayne raised £140,000 to pay for a series of operations for four-year-old Stefan Savic from Bosnia who had a rare facial cleft.

They first met when Wayne was on Army patrol in Bosnia in 2003 and Stefan went on the make a full recovery.

Wayne raised £140,000 to pay for a series of operations for four-year-old Stefan Savic from Bosnia who had a rare facial cleft. Credit: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust

Wayne said: "I am honoured to have been given an MBE. My headmaster said I wouldn't make anything of my life, because I left school with very few qualifications. But I joined the military as soon as I could. I have spent my adult life serving my country. So this means a lot. I am still in shock."

In 2017, the former staff-sergeant became the first British citizen to receive a humanitarian award in Serbia for his efforts to help Stefan.

His other charitable work includes:

  • A sponsored bike ride to build a new orphanage in Mauritania, Northwest Africa where he was working as a remote paramedic practitioner.

  • Spending seven days on a life raft in Portland Harbour with very limited food and water to raise £15,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

  • Volunteering as a helicopter medic during the first wave of the pandemic, transferring Covid-19 patients from the Shetland Islands to the mainland.