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Loving Dad on mission to spread Sepsis message after daughter's death

13 May 2019

One simple question may have saved Maddy Jones life and once you have heard Damian Jones speak about his beloved daughter, you will never forget the word Sepsis again.

The devoted dad and founder of the Maddy Jones Foundation for Sepsis Prevention, visited Redland Hospital last week to share Maddy's story with Emergency Department staff and shine a light on the often life-threatening condition.

Damian said Maddy was only 18-years-old when she died of Sepsis in October 2017 after falling ill with flu-like symptoms.

"Maddy was an Honours Law student, beautiful, independent, excelled at tennis and coached kids.

"She was funny, loved animals, was a high achiever and she was my daughter."

Damian said Maddy passed away 10 days after being admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, only five days after initially feeling unwell.

"She was given a 10 per cent chance of surviving," he said.

"Everything stops. For 10 days we watched her in ICU."

Damian said time was of the essence with Sepsis and that in many cases, was totally preventable.

"Maddy had sore muscles, shortness of breath, temperatures, she was very pale and confused. She was not her normal self.

"Someone in the world dies every four seconds from Sepsis, and more people in Australia than the national road toll or from breast cancer yet most people haven't heard of it and lives and families are shattered.

"We are using the foundation to tell people our story, to talk about Sepsis, educate the public and remind medical professionals that when parents come to an ED with their child, they are concerned - that what parents tell you about their child is incredibly important.

"It could be as simple as asking could this be Sepsis?"

ED Clinical Facilitator Jessica Hulme said Damian's message was an important one when it came to improving patient care, improving outcomes for patients, preventing harm and ultimately reducing the rate of mortality and morbidity.

She said a new screening pathway would help capture at risk patients earlier, to consider parental concern and multiple presentations and to ensure staff spent the time to screen the patient.

Director Paediatrics Dr Dougie Thomas said Damian's visit was also vital as it grounded staff and was a reminder as to why the pathway was established.

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Last updated 15 May 2019
Last reviewed 14 May 2019

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