A little girl’s fight for her life against sepsis and her mum’s stark warning

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Emma Woodland is a mum from Godstone in Surrey who took her 5 month old daughter Bonnie to the doctor. Bonnie had been coughing and the doctors told the concerned Emma that it was the cold and that Bonnie had ‘the virus’.

However, once back home Emma realized in the early hours of December 12th that something was just not right with her baby girl. Bonnie was rushed to East Surrey Hospital and en-route paramedics struggled hard to keep the little girl breathing.

As soon as they arrived, Bonnie was immediately placed on life support as her blood oxygen level had dipped dangerously low and her heart was beating furiously to keep her alive resulting in a steep spike in her heart rate. Unable to determine a cause, Bonnie was transferred to the pediatric unit at St George’s Hospital in south London.

A series of tests revealed that Bonnie had been suffering from bronchiolitis. Although it is a common respiratory infection which children under 2 years of age may suffer from but Bonnie’s case was much worse. Her infection had gotten so severe that it had triggered the onset of a deadly sepsis.

Sepsis is the leading cause of death in children worldwide, according to a paper on Pediatric sepsis. It is a life threatening condition in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs as a reaction to foreign infection. Bonnie was kept in intensive care and then stayed at the hospital for another week until doctors were absolutely sure that her condition had reversed. Sources report that little Bonnie is absolutely fine now and is back home with her family.

In the wake of surviving a real-life nightmare Emma Woodland issues a warning to fellow mums, “I never even knew that bronchiolitis could kill a child,” she writes in a Facebook post. “You hear about meningitis, measles, mumps and rubella all being serious childhood illnesses but nobody tells you about bronchiolitis.”

She decided to educate herself on this deadly condition which almost took her baby girl away from her. After talking to doctors and parents, Emma came to know that bronchiolitis leading to sepsis was more common than she realized especially during winters.

She urges all parents to, “Please if you have any doubts with your child or baby’s breathing, anything at all, then don’t hesitate to call an ambulance.” She pleads with parents that even if it is the smallest of sniffles they should not disregard it and should take their kids to A&E immediately. The on-set symptoms of Bronchiolitis are runny nose and constant cough which is why it is often confused with the common cold.

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