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70 day countdown to the NHS birthday â€" how NHS staff saved my little girl’s life

26 April 2018


The 70 day countdown to the NHS birthday in Bedfordshire and Luton begins on 26 April 2018 with the story of a little girl who was saved from dying of sepsis, thanks to quick thinking NHS staff. 

Mum Rachel Oyoo shared her daughter Rosie’s story to celebrate the NHS 70th birthday in a video recorded with the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups for Bedfordshire and Luton.  Rachel says: “I wanted to share my story to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS. The trauma, fear and utter despair at being faced with the possibility that my beautiful little girl may not live much longer will stay with me, but I am so grateful to the NHS for giving me my daughter back.”

When two year old Rosie developed chicken pox her parents just wanted it over and done with as her sister had developed the illness two weeks previously: at first she seemed fine.

Rachel explains: “Rosie deteriorated and became feverish and lethargic and developed a rash. I rang 999 and thankfully Rosie was taken by ambulance to Luton and Dunstable Hospital. The paediatric nurse at A&E recognised sepsis at once and called the wider team – actions which saved her life.”

Sepsis causes the body’s immune system to go into overdrive setting off reactions including inflammation, swelling and blood clotting. Septic shock is the last stage when the body is shutting down. Rosie had developed Streptococcal A from a septic chicken pox spot and the bacterial infection was releasing toxins into her blood.

Treating sepsis is ‘a race against time’ and it is vital that treatment is given immediately. Rosie needed fluid, antibiotics, and medication to support her blood pressure. She was transferred to Addenbrookes and spent four days on a ventilator, sedated in the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU).

Rachel continues: “Having a child in PICU is surreal - doctors and nurses are in and out constantly, and although they try to bear you in mind they do have to get on with their jobs. Hearing ‘there is not much else we can do’ and ‘Rosie is stable but still very unwell’ is soul destroying; you just wait for something positive. But, within 24 hours her blood pressure was rising and a week later we were home and once Rosie turned that corner she never looked back.

“Fortunately, Rosie made an amazing recovery and was too young to understand she was dying. Rosie will forever be my inspiration and what humbles me is the way she has just got on with it and is as vivacious and enthusiastic as ever. She was able to fight this fight and win because of Luton and Dunstable Hospital’s incredible A&E team, and for that I will always be grateful.”

Watch Rachel’s video on the CCG website where you can also read other inspiring NHS70 stories https://www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk/page/?id=5373 

If you have a story about what the NHS means to you, NHS Bedfordshire and Luton Clinical Commissioning Groups would love to hear from you, whether you are current or retired NHS staff, a volunteer or a patient. To share your story about why the NHS means a lot to you, email nhs70.stories@nhs.net

Look out for more NHS70 stories on Twitter @BCCG5 or @NHS_LCCG and Facebook, and on the CCG websites: www.bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk  or www.lutonccg.nhs.uk 

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