Terrified she would never be able to see her young family again, a mum from Carlisle is desperate to help people understand how deadly sepsis can be.

Mother-of-three Laura Atkinson, 33, had taken ill at work only for it to steadily get worse as the evening progressed.

Violently shaking and suffering with unbelievable pain overnight, Miss Atkinson went to the doctors the next morning presenting symptoms of a urinary tract infection and was prescribed antibiotics.

Getting worse as the day wore on, she described the pain as the worst she had ever felt and was unable to get up.

Her mum, a nurse, had sent a text to check on her and had received a message back asking for help. Her mum rushed round and managed to get Laura to the hospital. The doctor identified the symptoms of sepsis and started treatment immediately.

The condition can trigger changes in the body that can damage multiple organ systems (see below).

Convinced she was about to die, Laura said: “I was showing symptoms of a urinary tract infection but I just kept getting worse. When I was at home I just took to my bed and tried to keep it from my son – I didn’t want him to worry. But I was shaking violently and I couldn’t rest.

“The next morning my mum texted and I didn’t know I had replied saying ‘help’. She rushed round and got me to the hospital.

“When I got to hospital A&E was full but the doctor was amazing and started to treat me as soon as she could. I was attached to an antibiotic drip in the waiting room while I waited to be admitted.

“I was in so much pain but the staff were amazing.”

Revealing her struggle to come to terms with what was happening, Miss Atkinson needed a number of different antibiotics to fight the infection and was certain nothing was going to help her get well.

Describing what it was like before the diagnosis she said: “I was in bed at home – my son could have walked in the room at any point and found me dead. It doesn’t bear thinking about what could have been.”

Her fiancée, Brian Twentyman, had been at work when she was rushed into hospital. He said: “I went to work as normal thinking she was just unwell. I didn’t think it was as serious at this and how quickly sepsis can take over and make you as ill as she was.

“When I got to the hospital to see her I was so shocked – she looked like a corpse.”

“I could have come home to find her dead – it was so frightening.”

After spending five days in hospital Miss Atkinson added: “

I just want people to know how dangerous sepsis is and how quickly it can take over.

“I was lucky – the medical staff saved my life.

“If it wasn’t for them I could be dead.”