Two days before Christmas - my mother’s favourite holiday - she was told that they found cancer on her lung and that it spread throughout her body. Our family was preparing for a lung cancer diagnosis and on January 4, 2022 she was officially diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The “good” cancer we were told, but because my mother’s cancer spread so quickly throughout her body, they had to prescribe a very aggressive chemo if she was to survive.
As my mother was told she was beating cancer, on March 6, we invited our family over for an outdoor visit. The first time my mother was able to see my brothers, sister-in-laws and her beautiful new granddaughter in two months. The last time she held her first and only granddaughter was when she was four months old at Christmas.
The very next day on March 7 at 8 a.m. I went to have tea with my mother as I usually did before I started work, but she wasn’t there. I went to check on my mother who was shaking in her bed and my dad acted fast. We called the ambulance and within two minutes they were at my house and took her to the hospital. By 1 p.m. we were told my mom suffered from septic shock and she was currently on life support.
I had never heard of septic shock, nor had my father. When we were told the diagnosis of my mother’s cancer, we thought the worst case was that we would be told she had a year, maybe a few months to live. Instead our best friend, the light of our lives was dying - at that exact moment. The very next day, the doctor told us that my mom was the sickest and most critical patient in the entire hospital and the chances of survival were low.
After 21 days of fighting for her life, my beautiful mother Joanne succumbed to septic shock and passed away on March 28, 2022 at 4:33 p.m.
I wish this story had a happy ending and I hope that by sharing my story, along with the other brave patients, friends and families who have suffered from sepsis and septic shock we can spread the word about how serious this infection is and save a life.