The Lee Spark NF Foundation logo



Our Team

Meet our team. We hope we have got the necessary people in place to provide a good support network, Including, Parent & Children Support, Maternity & Liaison Support. Event Organiser, Event Co-ordinator. Event Support. Survivors and Bereaved Support. All trustee’s are happy in their roles and will always try their best to raise awareness.
Our team - Doreen Cartledge nfsuk founder

Meet our founder

Dee Cartledge

Doreen’s background experience working for the NHS for 25 years as a GP receptionist and having level 2 Oxford and Cambridge counselling qualification, along with her 10 year Cruise bereavement counselling qualification led her to volunteering for 20 years. Her many years of experience and having lost her son Lee through necrotising fasciitis . Doreen feels comfortable in offering empathy, respect and understanding to the people who make contact and can offer counselling over the phone or on a one to one basis.

Being involved in world wide organisations attending many conferences, NHS Seminars, media interviews and attending International Symposiums on Streptococci and Streptococcal diseases. Developing Medical Training DVD’s on this subject.

Meet our patron

Alex Lewis

Doreen and I first crossed paths around 6 years ago when I had just been released from my seven months in hospital and I had arrived home as a triple amputee. Strep A did it’s level best to finish me off however thanks to the incredible NHS and Winchester and Salisbury hospitals I had survived. Words do not do justice to just how invasive and brutal Strep A can be but there was very little information for me and my family to begin to understand just what had happened and why.

The Lee Spark NF Foundation was the only source of information and thanks to Doreen and her team they offered much needed advice and support. Fast forward 6 years and I now lead an incredible life as a now quadruple amputee. The opportunities that have arisen from my situation are numerous however one is by far the most important and that’s the ability to help drive medical research. To be able to educate, highlight early signs, and promote research into prevention and treatment and offer a survivors perspective and feedback is crucial in helping to increase survival rates.

I’m very much looking forward to my role as a patron and I hope to be able to lend support and help drive change alongside Doreen and her incredible team.

Our Team - Alex Lewis patron

I’m delighted to have been invited by Doreen to become a Patron of The Lee Spark NF Foundation.

Our Trustees & Ambassadors

Our team - Elaine McCulloch ambassador

Elaine McCulloch

Maternity & Liaison support
Ambassador for Glasgow area & Trustee

I am a disabled person and mother of two. I have a full time caring husband. I became involved in The Lee Spark Foundation after contracting Necrotising Fasciitis after an emergency c-section on 14th April 2005. I spent many months in hospital including ICU, HDU and underwent 6 debridement operations and a long 22 month recovery after being left with a 18 inch hip to hip open wound.

Looking for information, help and support I found this wonderful charity and the assistance of Doreen Cartledge with any question or worry answered with a warm friendly voice. I found the web page extremely informative and realised the need to raise more awareness, but I wanted to become an Ambassador to spread the word regarding Necrotising Fasciitis and the need for quick diagnosis, effective treatment and rehabilitation from this horrendous disease. I feel given the opportunity within my living area of Scotland I could make a huge difference by sharing my story and what The Lee Spark Foundation stands for, working together in partnership we potentially could save lives.

Our team - Lucy Mould ambassador

Lucy Louise Mould

Parent & Child Support
Ambassador for North East UK

My name is Lucy and in 2013 my one year old son, Frankie developed Group A strep associated necrotising fasciitis. When the infection was diagnosed Frankie was given a very small chance of survival. He had tissue and muscle debrided from 80% of his back, left flank and left thigh.

Frankie survived and has extensive skin grafting. We live in the north east of England and attend the great north childrens hospital regularly as Frankie will need operations as he grows because his skin grafts do not grow with him.

It has been 5 years since we first heard the words “necrotising fasciitis”. An infection we had no idea exsisted let alone happened to healthy children. My mission is to work as part of The Lee Spark foundation to raise awareness of this infection.

I particularily aim to educate the medical professions and students on the fact that this does happen to children. I also am here to help support any parents who may find themselves part of the NF family. Having a child who has been struck by NF is incredibly difficult because not only are you trying your hardest to care for and support your child but understanding what has happened and looking to the future can also be incredibly difficult.

I am here 24 hours a day 7 days a week should anyone need to speak about NF or want advice and support. You cannot chose which card you are dealt in this life but you can chose what to do with them and I fully intend on raising awareness of NF, saving lives and improving the after care of those who have been affected

patsy corcoran image

Patsy Corcoran

Event Support & Trustee

Patsy has supported the charity for quite a number of years. She assists with fundraising events, making cards, selling raffle tickets and general administrative duties.

Robert Wilkie image

Robert Wilkie

Trustee

After being introduced to the Lee Spark NF foundation by its Scottish ambassador I was able to discover much about the condition Necrotizing fasciitis than I ever knew before; most importantly I discovered I wasn’t alone in my continuing battle with the effects of this dreadful infection.

It is I believe extremely important to raise awareness of Necrotising fasciitis. I am a great believer In the saying together we can make a difference and that is what the foundation is doing.

Robert Wilkie image

Teri O’Brien

Pacific & North West US Ambassador 

In 2009, the day after Thanksgiving I was diagnosed with Necrotizing Fasciitis. My life changed forever, for both positive and negative. How can it be a positive? I found my voice in the journey.

Prior to the illness, I lived my life in the background, being a champion for others, but not for me. That kind of existence leaves one vulnerable to many knocks by life. An incident while I was in hospital was a catalyst for me. I said no, that will not happen again. This gave me strength.

Eventually after my horrific experience I was transferred to a nursing home. It was obvious that the staff there had no experience of treating a patient with NF and there was a dire need for education.

On the internet, I researched and found The Lee Spark NF Foundation. Once my request to join was approved, I found there was a treasure. People who had been devastated by NF were eager to share their journey with others. We gave one another tools to cope, listened to the fears, helped with the sorrows. We have laughed, cried, been angered by lack of education . This community of survivors, these warriors have become deeply important to me.

My hope as an ambassador for The Lee Spark NF Foundation is to give a voice to the patient through my experience, and the experiences of those I have bonded with in my involvement with the foundation.

Doctors and other health professionals have the technical knowledge to cut away the infection, but the fear and comfort of the patient is sometimes lost along the way. I would like to educate the professionals on what it is the person with NF experiences.

Our team - Tim Hayden US Ambassador image

Tim Hayden

US Ambassador

Tim Hayden is a Necrotizing Fasciitis (NF) survivor from Owensboro Kentucky USA. In 2016, 10 years after he survived NF, Tim started an online support group with the goal of providing comfort, care and information for NF survivors, their loved ones and those families whose loved ones didn’t survive.

In 2017, Tim co-founded the Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation, a non-profit organization which creates and distributes educational materials to the medical community and the general public to spread NF awareness and to expedite diagnosis to help save lives. This outreach includes speaking to local and regional hospitals and doctors offices to help, The Steep podcast and fundraising events, including an annual 5K run.

Tim met Dee Cartledge, the founder of the Lee Spark Foundation, after the start of the online organisation. Dee and Tim have since teamed up to combine their vast resources and events to spread awareness of what NF is, how to recognise it and early detection.

Robin Grant profile image

Robin Grant

Trustee: working with survivors and bereaved to raise awareness of necrotising fasciitis

Dear all,

I was more than pleased when Dee asked me if I would like to be a trustee of the charity. I know I have raised awareness by running in a few events raising money for The Lee Spark NF Foundation and helped other Trustees in the Scotland area to raise awareness of NF. I am currently trying hard to direct emails to the correct departments to offer to give a presentation of my survival of NF.

I fully respect the charity and I know I too am respected by you all. We are all aware how devastating NF affects all our lives, and I am sure I will always try my very best by supporting where I can.

Medical Team

Androulla Efstratiou, Visiting Professor Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, London

Androulla Efstratiou,Visiting Professor
Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, London

Androulla Efstratiou was awarded a doctorate, PhD, in medical microbiology by the University of London in 1987 and appointed to the post of Senior Microbiologist in 1989 to the then Public Health Laboratory Service, where she specialised in streptococcal infections and vaccine preventable disease, focusing on diphtheria. In June 1998 to the present day, she was officially appointed as Director of the newly designated WHO Global Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Diphtheria and Streptococcal Infections.

Androulla is currently a Consultant Public Health Microbiologist within the National Infection service at Public Health England, where the WHO Collaborating Centre is situated. She was awarded a Visiting Professorship at Imperial College Faculty of Medicine in June 2012; Adjunct Professor at the European University School of Medicine, Cyprus (since 2018) and most recently Visiting Professor to the University of Cyprus Medical School. Other appointments also include WHO Adviser/Consultant on diphtheria and streptococcal infections, project leader for various national and international projects on streptococcal infections, project leader for the European Diphtheria programmes, Past President of the XVIII Lancefield International Symposium on Streptococci Streptococcal Diseases and the PHE European Public Health Microbiology Fellowship Programme Supervisor.

Marina Morgan, Consultant Microbiologist, Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital NHS Trust

Marina Morgan, Consultant Microbiologist,
Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital NHS Trust

Marina Morgan is a consultant medical microbiologist at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and Hon Senior Lecturer, Exeter University Medical School. Her special interests include severe exotoxins – related infections – particularly necrotising tissue infections, such as necrotising fasciitis and Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS).

Shiranee Sriskandan, Professor & Honorary Consultant, Imperial College, London

Shiranee Sriskandan,
Professor & Honorary Consultant,
Imperial College, London

Shiranee Sriskandan is Professor and Honorary Consultant in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London based at Hammersmith Hospital. She leads the Gram Positive Molecular Pathogenesis Group, who are researching the ways in which the group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes) causes severe invasive disease and toxic shock. They are particularly interested in the toxins which are made by the group A strep during illnesses like Necrotising Fasciitis, and in developing techniques of improving treatment for this particularly devastating infection.

Volunteers

Catherine Dabell and her father

Catherine Dabell

Research co-ordinator & bereavement support

My name is Catherine and in 2022 my Father, Ian, became poorly after he had burnt his hand at work and woke up in pain with it a week later.

After going to the doctors the next day then the hospital he later got diagnosed with Sepsis then Necrotising fasciitis and organ failure and had debridement of his arm. However he didnt recover and shortly after passed away.

As it was sudden and I wanted to educate myself more about Necrotising fasciitis, I found the Lee Sparks Foundation charity. I got in touch with Dee Cartledge the founder of the charity she has helped me, supported me, educated me and has been a great help to me since the passing of my Father.

As a result of gaps in the awareness of Necrotising fasciitis I feel I would like to be involved more.

I want to spread awareness of Necrotising fasciitis and my Father’s story and help other people who are bereaved to feel they are not on their own and can talk to me anytime.

After having talks with Dee she suggested getting involved more in the fabulous working research groups the charity works with. I would find this interesting, so would love to be involved.

She also spoke of the understanding of bereavement support and I know I can, through my experience, support in this way.

Shiranee Sriskandan, Professor & Honorary Consultant, Imperial College, London

Shiranee Sriskandan,
Professor & Honorary Consultant,
Imperial College, London

Shiranee Sriskandan is Professor and Honorary Consultant in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London based at Hammersmith Hospital. She leads the Gram Positive Molecular Pathogenesis Group, who are researching the ways in which the group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes) causes severe invasive disease and toxic shock. They are particularly interested in the toxins which are made by the group A strep during illnesses like Necrotising Fasciitis, and in developing techniques of improving treatment for this particularly devastating infection.

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.

Coping with NF icon

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...

read more

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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