I ‘died’ from sepsis and looked down at my body as doctors brought me back to life | The SunJune 20, 2022
PERSONAL trainer Slav Wojcik had just finished work when he started to feel unwell.
The 42-year-old was shaking and felt dizzy, so decided to go to bed.
But Slav, who lives in Stafford was unable to sleep off his symptoms and he started to vomit.
It was then that his worried wife called an ambulance and medics revealed he was suffering with sepsis.
Sepsis is a life-threatening reaction to an infection and happens when your immune system overreacts to an infection and starts to damage your body's tissue and organs.
As the infection progressed, the dad-of-two's lungs started to fail and his heart stopped twice.
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He said his bladder, kidneys and stomach all stopped working and before he knew it, he was hooked up to different machines.
It was then, he said, that the fight for his life started.
"My blood pressure went so low they had to rescue me and bring me back to life.
“The first 48 hours are blurry – I had all these flashbacks. My heart stopped and started beating again and it happened twice over a few hours. It felt like being in a movie.
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"At one point, I had an experience where I was outside my body and I could see myself on the bed talking to myself. It was like I was coming in and out of different dimensions," he told the Manchester Evening News.
Whilst listening to the doctors, he said he tried hard to 'make peace with the situation', as he thought his life was over.
In May, Slav spent three days in intensive care and says it was only after this period of time that his body started to get back to normal.
However, he was still unable to move and said the sepsis had led to heart failure which caused him to suffer with an irregular heartbeat.
He added that it took six weeks for his heart rate to return to a normal level and said that it was even beating fast when he was lying down.
Before contacting sepsis, Slav said he would be training around 30 hours a week due to his job as a personal trainer.
What is sepsis and what are the signs you need to know?
The condition is always triggered by an infection – but it is not contagious and cannot be passed from person to person.
Most often the culprit is an infection we all recognise – pneumonia, urinary infections (UTIs), skin infections, including cellulitis, and infections in the stomach, for example appendicitis.
If you, a loved one, or in the case of medical professionals their patient, feels "severely sick", doesn't appear to be themselves and shows any of the following symptoms, sepsis should be suspected:
- Loss of appetite
- Fever and chills
- Difficult or rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Low urine output
If a person is suffering these symptoms and they are thought to have suffered an infection – pneumonia, abdominal infection, urinary infection, or a wound – sepsis is a likely cause.
Slav was struggling to move during recovery and said that after leading such a busy life, this would 'depress him'.
Mental health professionals suggested he might be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by intensely stressful, frightening or distressing events.
People affected by the condition are often forced to relive a traumatic event from their past, such as through a series of nightmares and flashbacks.
They may also experience feelings of isolation, guilt, irritability, insomnia, and a lack of concentration.
Despite the advice, Slav said that nothing he did to try and boost his mood worked.
Then, one day, he said he had enough of being miserable and told himself he needed to do something about his situation.
Taking his recovery one day at a time, Slav went out for short 10 minute walks.
Slowly but surely, he made a full recover and in April this year, he completed the Manchester marathon.
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He explained that the event had been the first marathon he had ever done so he wanted to return to do it as it held sentimental value.
Slav added that human beings can achieve a lot and that if you want something enough, you will find a way to get it.
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