I am writing to you to ask for some support in anyway possible.
On the 15th of May we tragically lost Lucy, our 16 year old identical twin to Sepsis.
It all really went downhill in the space of 6 hours when it went from just simple cold/flu symptoms to what we now know was Sepsis.
After a weekend of cold/flu like symptoms (BP, Pulse and Temp did not show any serious signs as we had all the machines to test these things over the weekend) a doctor’s visit on Monday morning referred her to the hospital immediately as there was no observations pointing to any prognosis.
MAU treated her chest pain and breathing difficulties for 12 hours, even though she said she could not breath and needed oxygen her O2 was 100% (7 bags of IV fluid and multiple antibiotics) and had many tests including multiple Blood tests and X Rays but at 4am motling started to appear in her legs. It was at this point she went for an emergency CT scan or her chest that showed sign of fluid around the heart (Pericardial effusion).
It was at this time she was rushed to Main Theatre for a fluid drain on fluid surrounding her heart. After the drain we had a brief moment where she was without pain and stable. Within an hour she had to be put into an induced coma as there was still no immediate signs of improvement and something else was wrong. There an internal exploratory examination on her body to try and find the cause of the sepsis yet it also showed no signs of any why.
It was at this point the consultant in the ICU came in to the “family room”, sat on the floor and said some very memorable words. She explained that they could not find the actual cause of the Lactic acid in her blood (Sepsis) and even though Lucy was on assisted breathing and controlled drugs during her induced coma there were no signs of improvement, which was not normal. She continued to explained that Lucy was the sickest person in the Hospital and probably the sickest she had seen for weeks. It was also at this momentous point she said “It’s highly likely that Lucy would Die”. Sophie threw her drink across the room, fainted and everyone in the room broke down (words can never ever explain what “Broke down” means here), indescribably.
2 hours later Lucy arrested and Cath and Neil (Mum and Dad) watched Lucy be brought back to life with manual CPR and then they left the ICU to do their thing. An hour later we were informed she had arrested again and was on an automated CPR belt (AutoPulse) and a team from Royal Brompton Hospital in London were called in via helicopter. 2 hour wait. We went see Lucy during this 2 hours and we could be never prepared for the site of Lucy on this AutoPulse machine, this can not be unseen and will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
The Royal Gwent hospital (Newport) ICU department did everything in their power (she was under 20 consultants care) to save our little girl’s life but unfortunately her very large physical reserve meant when that reserve and fight emptied things would go down hill so very fast. When the specialist doctors from Royal Brompton Hospital came with the specialist machine to bypass and filter her blood it was too late.
We have set up https://Lucyellis.love website to explain the whats, whys and explain how a charity called “The Lucy Ellis Foundation” will help with future examples of such an athlete losing her life so quick.
Lucy’s foundation has 3 main causes:
1. To raise funds for the training and supply of a specialist blood machine (ECMO) in Wales where we have NONE. This machine has proven to help save many lives in these types of cases. Please see website for more details.
Believe it or not this machine is manufactured in Swansea, Wales but there isn’t a single hospital in Wales that has one at hand or has a team to make this technology possible.
2. The foundation wants to raise awareness of the danger signs and symptoms leading up to the onset of sepsis to athletes, parents and others. The signs in athletic/healthy people can be very different to average or unwell people.
We want to make people aware and understand what sepsis is, why do we hear it everywhere now and put things in to perspective when It takes more than 44,000 lives a year, that’s more than prostate, bowel and breast cancer and AIDS combined. Almost 50% of people have never heard of Sepsis.
3. The foundation plans to help raise funds for underprivileged children that cannot afford to chase their dream of being an national or international athlete. This could be for equipment, travel costs, tuition fees etc. Lucy was an incredibly fit, dedicated and talented gymnast and had her heart set on the World’s/Olympics one day as a gymnast, we would like to help others have that same dream.
Lucy was a special girl that has touched many people’s lives in the short time of her life. Lucy had a conversation in Turin this year with her dad where she wanted to leave this life knowing she has made a difference and wanted to be down in writing for someone that made a difference. Little did she and the family know this difference would be in her death. We know that it would be nothing more than her wishes to make sure we can save other people’s lives and helping other children chase their dreams in her memory.
Anything you could do to give any type of support or help for her cause would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time
You can donate here. https://lucyellis.love/