A man tragically died just four months before his wedding after doctors failed to spot he was suffering from sepsis.
Steven “Jacko” Jackson, 37, was assessed on three separate occasions by medical staff who told him he was suffering from a virus.
But hours after being told by paramedics he didn’t require hospital treatment, Steven suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
His fiancée Shelly Jackson is now backing a campaign to raise awareness of the deadly condition.
She said: “Steven died four months before we were due to be married. Sepsis took his life and destroyed our future.
“My two children, Yasmine, 20 and Bryn, 18, Steven’s would-be stepchildren, who looked upon him as a father and idolised him, lost an integral part of their lives that day.
“Steven loved life. He was treasured among friends and family and someone we all felt truly lucky to have in our lives.
“How that could come to such an abrupt end has left us all reeling, even three years after his death.
“I am still very angry about Steven’s death, especially when there were opportunities to save him, and I feel that the fact that so many people are dying from such an easily treatable illness is diabolical.
“It is really important that all medical professionals are well versed in identifying sepsis to give patients the very best chance of survival.
“It is too late for Steven, but if lessons can be learned from his death than more lives might be saved.”
Steven had been suffering from a sore throat for several days but when he failed to improve, Shelly took him to A&E at Southend Hospital, Essex.
An out-of-hours doctor told him to purchase over the counter medication and sent him home.
But hours later, an ambulance was called to his home in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, as his condition deteriorated, with Shelly describing that he looked pale with purple lips.
Paramedics spent an hour assessing him before diagnosing a virus and saying he did not require hospital treatment.
At 1pm the same day – seven hours after he went to A&E, another ambulance was called but Steven suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
It was later identified that Steven was suffering from epiglottitis, the inflammation and swelling of the epiglottis behind the root of the tongue.
The condition is regarded as a medical emergency and can significantly restrict oxygen supply to the lungs and cause sepsis.
It is treated with antibiotics.
Shelly, who changed her name to Shelly Jackson following Steven’s death in March, 2014, is pushing for more doctors to recognise the symptoms of sepsis.
She is backing the UK Sepsis Trust’s Wear Orange and Help Mend Sepsis Day this week.
Specialist medical negligence lawyers were instructed to investigate Steven’s death and the law firm later secured an admission of liability from the Trust, which also sent a letter of apology.
Louise Forsyth, an expert medical negligence lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, representing Steven’s family, said: “Sepsis is a devastating condition which affects 150,000 people every year in the UK, resulting in 44,000 deaths.
“This number of people dying from sepsis in the UK is extremely troubling as the condition can be treated by a course of antibiotics if diagnosed quickly.
“We have seen numerous cases such as Steven’s where the symptoms of sepsis have not been spotted or where patients have not been started on treatment soon enough.
“This has a devastating impact on them, and for the family and friends of those who lose their lives as a result.
“Through our close work with The UK Sepsis Trust we have seen the urgent need to promote the signs of sepsis and provide early care in the UK and hope that this week’s Wear Orange and Help Mend Sepsis awareness day will raise vital funds to save thousands of lives and improve the outlook for all of those affected.”