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Urgent warning over silent killer that you may brush off as a tummy bug

A GRIEVING mum has issued a fresh warning over a silent killer infection that took the life of her daughter.

Julie Stickland thought Chloe just had a tummy bug.

Julie Stickland thought Chloe just had a tummy bug – but she was dead four days later

But four days after becoming unwell, the 26-year-old tragically died.

Julie explained: “She was fine on the Wednesday and dead on the Sunday.”

The mum told the Daily Record her daughter had succumbed to sepsis – but the family had no idea.

The silent killer – also known as septicaemia or blood poisoning – happens when our immune system overreacts to an infection.

It spreads rapidly, damaging body tissue and organs, and can kill a victim in hours if they don’t seek medical attention.

Chloe’s ordeal began at the family home in Dumfries, Scotland, in May last year.

The mum thought her daughter may have meningitis after a rash appeared and her eyes became sore following two days of tummy pains.

Julie then rang NHS 24 at 6am on the Saturday and an ambulance was scrambled to Chloe.



The 26-year-old was kept in Dumfries Infirmary where her Julie and dad Ken stayed with her until 11.30pm before going home to sleep.

But at 2am the family were woken to police banging on their door in the village of Locharbriggs.

They were told every parents worse nightmare – Chloe had suffered a cardiac arrest and died.

“My life fell apart”, said Julie, who now campaigns to raise awareness of the infection.

Chloe was born with a heart defect and nearly died in 2005 following a heart operation that resulted in massive internal bleeding.

The July before the 26-year-old passed away she had undergone an operation to replace a heart valve.

Experts remain unsure of the exact biological processes that cause sepsis.

In the UK, five people every hour die of the infection, making it a bigger killer than bowel, breast and pancreatic cancer combined.

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