The Lee Spark NF Foundation logo



About us

The Lee Spark NF Foundation is the only registered charity based in the UK supporting all individuals who have been affected directly or indirectly by severe streptococcal infections or Necrotising fasciitis. It was formed after the sudden tragic and traumatic loss of 23 year old Lee Spark.

We identified a need to inform, support and represent the interests of patients and all individuals affected by this horrific disease.

About the Lee Spark NF Foundation - Lee Spark picture

Who is Lee Spark

Lee was a 23 year old man. He was handsome. he was tall 6ft 3″. A very kind and respectful human being that loved being around his family. He was a son to Dee Cartledge (founder) and son to Stephen Spark. He was a brother to Martyn Spark, nephew and he had four cousin’s who all idolised one another. He loved to pretend to interview people and was so keen to be a film producer. All that knew him enjoyed his character and his naive ways. He could fit in anywhere.

Here’s his nf story…

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.

Doreen Cartledge

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About the Lee Spark NF Foundation - Doreen Cartledge nfsuk founder

Meet our founder

Through the personal loss of her son, Lee Spark, from the horrific infection Necrotising fasciitis in October 1999,  Doreen has campaigned endlessly to raise awareness by giving lectures including statistics and survey results from survivors and  bereaved in order to raise awareness Necrotising Fasciitis and increase support for its victims.

Our mission icon

Our mission

To help the lives of those affected by and those treating necrotising fasciitis and other severe streptococcal infections.

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Our charity

The Lee Spark NF Foundation was established in January 2000 by Doreen Cartledge following the loss of her son to this dreadful disease. Doreen realised the need to give support to those people forced to deal with NF both personally and professionally.

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Our aims

  • Support those affected and their families
  • Educate the medical profession and general public
  • promote research into prevention and treatment
  • Promote recognition of the early signs and symptoms of necrotising fasciitis and severe streptococcal infectio
  • Highlight the causes, effects, treatment and management of this horrific disease.

Information and support

What is Necrotising  Fasciitis (NF) icon

What is Necrotising Fasciitis (NF)

As the only support group for people who have been affected by severe streptococcal infections or necrotising fasciitis, we have an array of information about what NF is as well as the causes and treatments.

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Coping with Necrotising Fasciitis

We have a great library of information and links to help you if you are coping with the aftermath of Necrotising Fasciitis, whether you suffered directly or are supporting someone as a family, friend or professional.

Our blog

Amputation in the Treatment of Necrotising Fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis is a rare and life-threatening condition normally caused by a bacterial infection affecting the skin's deeper layers, including the fascia and muscles. It spreads rapidly and can lead to tissue death and organ failure if left untreated. In some...

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Debridement in the treatment of necrotising fasciitis

Necrotising fasciitis is a rare and life-threatening condition normally caused by a bacterial infection affecting the skin's deeper layers, including the fascia and muscles. It spreads rapidly and can lead to tissue death and organ failure if left untreated. In this...

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Keep warm this winter with one of our hoodies

The nights and drawing in and there is a new chill in the air. What better way to stay warm than to pull on a nice cosy hoody. Our hoodies are really wonderfully snug, in fact, we're finding ours difficult to actually take off at the moment. By purchasing a hoody, you...

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