Mother Saves Son’s Life From Sepsis After Noticing Red Mark on His Arm

By Tiffany Meier

A mother’s quick thinking when she spotted a red mark on her son’s arm helped save his life from sepsis.

Alexandra Ruddy of Jersey, Channel Islands, became concerned when she saw a red mark on her 8-year-old son Ewan’s arm after he fell on a trip to the zoo, she wrote in a Facebook post.

“A week or so ago the littlest fell over at the zoo. He took quite a bashing but once we got home I cleaned him up. I rang school on Farm school day to make sure he washed his hands after digging and I tried hard to ensure it was kept clean (hand and elbow). He’s an 8 yr old boy however,” she wrote in the Facebook post.

It wasn’t until a week later, when she saw that the mark persisted, that she became alarmed and rushed her son to the hospital.

“The wounds didn’t look infected- they’d got bigger so I was concerned but they weren’t gunky etc. Yesterday on our way to the beach he showed me his hand. I wasn’t happy as I noticed red tracking down his vein. I then checked his elbow—the same,” she wrote.

While she felt slightly foolish at the time, doctors quickly confirmed her suspicions and said her son had sepsis—a condition that can be potentially life-threatening if not immediately treated, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“I took him down to the out of hours feeling a bit silly but when the doctor saw it he commended me on recognising it and getting down ASAP,” she wrote on Facebook.

“This is blood poisoning/ sepsis. It isn’t something you can ‘leave’ until Monday when the doctors are back in the office,” she added.

Ruddy wrote in a Facebook post that the antibiotics her son is taking are working and he is doing well.

“If you spot this red line running from a wound along the vein get yourself/ your child seen straight away. Hopefully my post might help someone the way my friend’s post from 2 years ago helped me,” she wrote.

“I’ve been in two minds whether to post this but my husband convinced me as he said if I hadn’t been here he wouldn’t have realised. I am sure there are other parents who wouldn’t either and the only reason I knew is because it had happened to a friend’s son 2 years ago and she had shared,” she wrote.

The post has been shared over 36,000 times and gotten over 14,000 likes at the time of writing.

Several people thanked Ruddy for her post in the comments.

“How scary Alex! Hope Ewan is on the mend now,” one person commented. “It’s hard to know when to seek medical advice especially with something seemingly so trivial so thank you for posting this.”

Another person wrote, “Wow. That could have been so terrible. Well done you for sharing and so so glad it turned out the way it has. Love to you all.”

“I had no idea—thanks for sharing,” one person commented.

“I had something similar as a teenager and it’s always stuck with me. Glad Ewan’s on the mend,” another commented.

Each year, there are around 250,000 cases of sepsis in the UK and around 46,000 deaths as a result of the condition, according to data from the UK Sepsis Trust obtained by the National Health Service.