We lost Lee to this horrific disease at 9.45am on 6th October 1999. My son had been taken away from me in 3 days. Lee was a healthy 23 year old – lovely personality and quite naive. Martyn, my younger son had phoned to say that Lee had flu and then 3 days later Emma, his partner, phoned to say Lee had something more serious than flu. Lee was seriously ill and they had phoned for an ambulance. Martyn was yelling in the background – he sounded like some sort of wild animal – he was hysterical.
Martyn, Emma, Lee and grandson Lewis all lived in Sheffield. How awful at a time like this to live 100 miles away. Lee was rushed into Hallamshire Hospital – Sheffield. They were resuscitating him for sometime at his home and hospital. I phoned the hospital in disbelief as I only knew he had flu!
What was the problem? The staff at A & E asked me to phone 15 minutes later, and to have a sweet cup of tea and something to eat. By this time I was in shock and was fainting every time I stood on my feet.
Twenty minutes later I phoned the hospital and found out that he had died. The staff nurse asked if I wanted to speak to Martyn – we could only cry together. I eventually said “Go back home. I will see you there.”
We will never, never forget that morning as long as we live. We then awaited the post mortem results and we were told Lee had died of a Strep Milleri infection – from an abscess in his gum – developing into Necrotising Fasciitis.
What on earth is this we asked, after lots of questions fired at the professionals. I asked for some literature and the name of a support group that I could speak to. None were available.
Therefore I launched the support group in January 2000. My first survivor contacted me in May 2000. What a thrill it was to talk to her. I desperately hung on to every word she said.
The support group has gone from strength to strength, as has my love for Lee.