MP 'an inspiration' for young sepsis survivor

Abbie Kitson
Abbie Kitson survived sepsis at the age of 19 [BBC]

A woman who survived sepsis said she was inspired to tell her story after seeing South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay return to Parliament.

Mr Mackinlay lost his hands and feet to the condition after falling seriously ill in September 2023.

He was given a standing ovation when he returned to the Commons on Wednesday.

Abbie Kitson, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, described him as "an inspiration".

The University of Brighton student developed the condition in June 2023 after an operation to remove part of her bowel because of Crohn's disease.

She was rushed back into surgery after failing to respond to antibiotics, while her mother was told to prepare for the worst and to say goodbye.

The 20-year-old said: "There was one nurse who was amazing, she was holding my hand, stroking my hair and singing to me. I remember thinking 'this is the last thing I'm ever going to hear'.

"They discovered bacteria from inside the gut had got into the outside. They said I was very, very lucky."

Craig Mackinlay receiving a standing ovation in the House of Commons
Abbie was inspired to tell her story after seeing Craig Mackinlay's return to the House of Commons [PA Media]

After seeing Mr Mackinlay returning to the Commons last week she said she thought he was "incredible".

"For a younger sepsis survivor, seeing someone who's gone through the same illness and has recovered so tremendously, I think he's an inspiration," she said.

Mr Mackinlay announced on Friday he would be standing down as an MP and would focus on highlighting the risks of sepsis.

He told BBC South East: "If it's made someone like Abbie say 'I want to raise awareness a little bit further myself', I see that as a job well done.

"If I can make someone's family or friends recognise that this person isn't right, if that will help them get to a health professional that much earlier than they might have done, then perhaps the limb losses I've suffered or even a life might be saved."

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