‘I am still struggling’: Christopher, 34, speaks of double amputation ‘trauma’ after sepsis diagnosis
PUBLISHED: 12:30 15 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:14 15 September 2020
A man from the Fens who had both legs amputated after being diagnosed with sepsis says the last two years have been “the worst of my life”.
Christopher Chapman from Chatteris was admitted to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in August 2018 after sustaining a skull fracture when he was assaulted.
Five days after his admission, the 34-year-old developed septic shock and acute respiratory distress syndrome which resulted in him needing surgery.
The hospital amputated both of Mr Chapman’s legs below the knee, an operation which, in his own words, was “absolutely devastating”.
Mr Chapman has now teamed up with his lawyers in a bid to raise awareness of the symptoms of sepsis and speak of his determination to make the most of life.
He said: “The last couple of years have been the worst of my life.
“To have both my legs removed from below the knee was absolutely devastating and I am still struggling to come to terms with how dramatically different my life is now.
“There are so many things I used to enjoy that I can’t do in the same way now, but I am determined not to let that stop me from living life to the full, I just need to adapt things a little. “While nothing will change what happened, I am so grateful for the support I have had from my family; I wouldn’t have got through this without them.
“I just hope that by sharing my story, it may help others to be aware of the signs of sepsis so they don’t have to going through the pain I have.”
Mr Chapman was transferred from another hospital to Addenbrooke’s on August 19 2018, where he was being treated for skull and facial fractures.
He was intubated and given intravenous antibiotics.
On August 24, a CT scan was carried out and it was found that Christopher was suffering from septic shock and acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Following the diagnosis, Christopher began to display evidence of early necrosis, which is described as the death of body tissue; both his feet and finger tips were affected.
On September 26, he underwent surgery for bilateral below knee amputations. He was discharged from the intensive care unit on October 12, and left hospital on December 20.
Signs of sepsis include slurred speech, confusion, extreme shivering and muscle pain, passing no urine in a day, severe breathlessness and mottled or discoloured skin.
Gurpreet Lalli, the legal expert at Irwin Mitchell who is representing Mr Chapman, says they will continue to support him during recovery.
He said: “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for Christopher, having to go through the trauma of a double amputation.
“While nothing will change what has happened to him, we will continue to support Christopher and his loved ones however we can.
“He has shown such bravery and determination throughout his recovery, and it is inspiring to see him live life as best he can despite the challenges he faces.”
For more information on sepsis, visit: www.sepsistrust.org
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