Thornbury septicaemia survivor Christine Carter becomes Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) ambassador
A MOTHER-of-two from Thornbury who lost four limbs after contracting septicaemia has been appointed Meningitis Research Foundation’s new regional ambassador.
Christine Carter, 66, developed flu-like symptoms over Christmas 2010. Her condition had deteriorated so rapidly by New Year’s Eve that she was rushed to Frenchay Hospital.
She was diagnosed with streptococcal septicaemia and multiple organ failure and given just hours to live.
Yet, against all the odds, she survived and despite having both legs, her right hand and the fingers on her left hand amputated, the former teacher is thriving.
She told the Gazette: "The septicaemia started to attack my body, affecting my blood pressure, so they had to give me a drug called noradrenalin to save me but it carried a risk of affecting my circulation.
"It was the drug that got my heart going and my blood pressure working properly but it took all the blood from my hands and my feet. I was in intensive care for five weeks and woke up after three weeks, I was transferred to the main ward and in the April had my legs amputated below the knee.
"A further four operations followed on my hands, including a skin graft, which has left me with one full finger and half a finger on my left hand."
She has since been working tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease and launched the Thornbury Craft Fair with her daughter Lindsey Benson.
The community events have so far raked up more than £4,000 towards life-saving medical research.
Christine said she felt privileged to be chosen as the Meningitis Research Foundation (MRF) ambassador.
"I am honoured to be asked to represent MRF as an ambassador as they do an amazing job funding research into meningitis and septicaemia and supporting people affected by the diseases," she said.
"I look forward to meeting as many people as I can in my home town to spread the word about the great work we do."
Chris Head, MRF chief executive, said: "We are so grateful to Christine for agreeing to represent the work we do in Thornbury. Our ambassadors have been set up to meet the specific needs of their local communities; either speaking to the local media about our latest campaigns or providing talks in nurseries and schools across the region."
MRF is the only charity that funds research into both meningitis and septicaemia.
The next Thornbury Craft Fair is on Saturday, March 23 at the Swan (10am to 3pm).