Sepsis Stories
Child sepsis survivor
Harper Darnell: Survived Sepsis, Age 2

Story told by her mother, Angela.

Our Little Miss Harper is only 2 years old and sepsis took over fast.

What started as a hurt ankle and fever changed our lives forever. We took her to the hospital for X-rays and a wellness check, but she was sent home with a possible twisted ankle and a cold. A few days later, her body went into total septic shock. Our little girl was placed on ECMO to help support her heart and lungs for 3 weeks.

Tests came back positive for MSSA (Staph), but there was no open wound or affected area. Doctors believe the infection started inside the joint, so there was no real detection of an infection until it went septic. Harper was diagnosed with osteomyelitis in her left leg, with deterioration of her tibia and femur head. She will need many surgeries, but she is a survivor!

For 3 weeks, we faced the heavy reality that she might not come home. Sepsis has many faces and can come from anywhere. The symptoms change from person to person, so there is no surefire way to tell when it is happening. In small children, it is even harder because they cannot explain what is wrong.

I wish there was more we could do to prevent this. Being a voice and telling our story is a great start in making people aware of what can happen. Urging healthcare providers to understand how important it is to act fast when sepsis could be present just might save so many more.