On July 27th, Jeremy and his partner Hannah celebrated Hannah's birthday. Just 24 hours later, Hannah would have to call an ambulance for her partner, who had become suddenly unwell with a high temperature, cough, and sickness.

Starting with a morning of feeling unwell, initially dismissed as a possible hangover after a night celebrating Hannah’s birthday, Jeremy's condition worsened as the day progressed. Hannah observed his symptoms, particularly the worsening cough. Concerned, she made the decision to call for an ambulance where Jeremy was admitted to West Middlesex Hospital A&E in the early hours of the 29th. This unexpected journey unfolded from a night out to a critical condition.

 The ICU team at West Middlesex Hospital took care of Jeremy but despite their interventions his condition rapidly deteriorated. Two consultants came out to speak to Hannah in the family room and said: “He was really struggling to breathe, and he was in septic shock and his organs were beginning to fail.” The consultants recommended sedating him to give his body rest.

After extensive discussions with Royal Brompton Hospital, their ECMO retrieval team came to Jeremy's rescue at 2 am on July 30th. This specialised team, equipped with advanced medical tools and an ambulance, played a crucial role in saving his life. Fortunately, their proximity was a stroke of luck, given that only four hospitals in England have access to ECMO.

Jeremy's fitness level also worked in his favour, making him a suitable candidate for this life-saving treatment. Remarkably, he had cycled 40km just the day before falling ill, highlighting the unexpected turns that life can take.

Later on, the consultants mentioned that they were surprised by the significant impact on Jeremy's heart, especially considering his young age and fitness. Hannah had a challenging conversation with a consultant, and he expressed concern, mentioning that Jeremy was quite sick. He emphasised the urgency of seeing some activity in Jeremy's heart in the next few hours. 

Jeremy developed compartment syndrome, a complication associated with being on an ECMO machine, causing significant swelling. The medical team had to perform a fasciotomy, a procedure where they cut into the muscle and tissue of Jeremy's legs. This was necessary because the swelling was impeding blood flow, posing a severe risk. Without intervention, it could have halted circulation completely, leading to the potential loss of Jeremy's entire left leg.

After a thorough investigation, the doctors found out that Jeremy had been affected by invasive strep A. They quickly started a new round of antibiotics, and thankfully, the treatment kicked in fast. The antibiotics worked well because, by then, they had identified the exact kind of infection through testing. This made the treatment more focused and effective in fighting off the infection.

Jeremy was on ECMO for a total of 8 days and remained sedated for 15 days. When he finally woke up, it was to the embrace of his family, marking the beginning of a whole new challenge. After the intense battle for his life, Jeremy had to embark on the journey of relearning how to breathe, speak, eat, and walk. Jeremy is currently on the road to recovery after facing a tough battle for his life. His strength and resilience are truly inspiring.

In a heart-warming gesture, Jeremy's partner Hannah, along with their close-knit circle of family and friends, took on a 110km run at the Richmond Autumn Riverside on October 14th. Their goal was simple — not just to raise funds for the hospital that saved Jeremy but also to spread the word about invasive strep A and its signs. Their combined efforts resulted in an incredible achievement: they raised over £10,000 to support Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. These funds specifically went to ECMO, a crucial part of Jeremy's recovery. 

Fundraisers and donors like Jeremy and Hannah help make sure that necessary equipment, like ECMO, is available for critically ill patients, making a real impact on people's lives.

If Jeremy's story has moved you and you'd like to contribute to funding vital equipment like ECMO, please click the link below. Your support is a beacon of hope for those in need.