When we think of doctors, the impression so often conjured is one of miracle workers, of people who can look us over and tell us exactly what’s wrong with us and how to fix it.
We generally trust what they say, leaving appointments secure in the knowledge that we’re in safe hands. Of course, doctors are, like all humans, fallible, and it’s impossible for them to be completely right all of the time.
Just ask 41-year-old Lydia Galbally, who had to have both of her legs and her right hand and left finger amputated after doctors misdiagnosed her sepsis. The mother had sought medical help last year after experiencing a chesty cough and wheezing. Doctors told her she had asthma and a series of lung infections, but it transpired they were wrong …
In September Lydia was finally diagnosed with a deadly sepsis. She spent eight agonizing weeks at the Royal Papworth hospital in Cambridge, UK, plagued by serious gangrene in her hands, feet, and the tip of her nose. Lydia’s body was in septic shock.
Graphic warning! (Explicit pictures below)
“My wife Lydia, a fit, happy and healthy 41-year-old and mum of our two young children, fell critically ill with Sepsis and an underlying infection of tuberculosis.
“She spent 11 days in a coma on life-support close to death.”
Lydia experienced extreme shortness of breath and a high fever, and was forced to undergo a series of tests including X-rays, CT scans and a bronchoscopy. Doctors were sceptical over her recovery, but she miraculously began to fight back.
Dan explained: “She found herself facing the onset of dry gangrene in both feet and both hands and also at the tip of her nose. At one point during the first week, most of her face had turned a mottled blue and black, but thankfully, this reversed as the medicine dosages were reduced as she gained in strength.
“At one point Lydia had 15 different intravenous drips and lines going in and out of her body. She was on a ventilator, a kidney machine and the ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation), as well being treated by a cocktail of various drugs and being fed with nutrients.
“These were all needed to keep her alive but incredibly sadly, a result of the treatment for the Sepsis, was to cruelly restrict the blood flow to her hands and feet.”
“She had to have both her legs amputated below the knee, together with the amputation of her right hand at the wrist and the fingers of her left hand, undergoing five major operations in the last seven weeks.”
Lydia was confined to an isolation room for seven weeks and battled against other health problems.
“The ECMO team had done their job, and when Lydia awoke from the coma 11 days later, she was completely unaware of the previous events,” Dan said.
After eight weeks, the 41-year-old was able to come home and begin her two months of rehabilitation. Now, Dan and the couple’s two children, aged 9 and 11, are fighting to get her back on track.
The family have set up a GoFundMe Page in a bid to raise funds for prosthetics. Dan said: “Despite the clearly devastating and traumatic events of the last seven months, it is important to me to be able to tell you that Lydia has been incredibly brave and outstandingly strong-minded throughout.
“She has been, and remains truly inspirational and though she doesn’t believe that about herself, she has shown what a truly remarkable person she is.”
After all that Lydia’s been through, she deserves a good turn or a few. We’re sending our thoughts and prayers for her recovery!
Share this article to help get her story out there!