A Blackpool mum who thought she was coming down with a cold is now facing a triple amputation after being struck with severe blood poisoning.
Charly Babington, 40, was out shopping with a friend when she began feeling dizzy and cold. Less than 24 hours later, she fell into a coma at Blackpool A&E and was kept on life-support for 23 days. When she woke up, her hands and feet were black, and she had lost all feeling in them.
Charly was suffering from pneumococcal sepsis, a serious bacterial blood infection with an almost 40 per cent mortality rate. She remains in Royal Preston Hospital awaiting amputation surgery on both of her feet, her left arm, and three fingers on her right hand.
The mum-of-two said: “I was doing the shopping when I started to get back-ache. I couldn’t walk so I decided to go home, and when I got to the car I turned cold and jittery.
“The next morning I said to my daughter, I don’t think I can manage taking you to school today. She said ‘never mind school mum, you need an ambulance!’
“My eyes were all swollen, my face was turning blue and I was struggling to breathe.”
Daughter Katie, 10, and son Shaun, 12, called for an ambulance, and Charly was taken to Blackpool Victoria Hospital A&E, where she fell into a coma. Her kidneys failed and she was put on life support and a kidney filter machine for 23 days while doctors worked to save her life.
She said: “The last thing I remember is being in A&E and everybody in blue rallying around me. When I woke up I had missed my little boy’s birthday. I was devastated.”
But an even greater tragedy was to come – Charly, who works in North Shore as a cleaner – was told that she would have to lose three of her limbs as a result of extreme blood loss caused by the sepsis. She said: “My feet and one of my hands are just dead. I can’t move them at all.
“I can feel and move my arm from the wrist down, but the fingers are black and numb. I’m going to need three or four operations.”
Charly is now coming to terms with living without the use of her feet and left hand.
She said: “I’m going to be disabled for life and there’s no avoiding that. We’re going to have to move; I’m going to need a ground-floor house. My little boy took it quite hard at first but I said to him, would you rather have a mum with plastic legs or no mum at all?
“The main thing is that I’m still alive.
“This sort of illness is extremely rare in adults and we still don’t know what’s caused it.
“Not many people can say they’ve beaten it, so in a way I’m very lucky.
“I’m looking on the bright side. Where’s feeling sorry for myself going to get me? I still have family and friends and two wonderful children to look after.
“I’m going to fight this fight and get through this recovery so I can get back to my children and normality.”
n A fundraiser has been set up by Charly’s friends to support the family while Charly is unable to work, and can be found online at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wendy-wild