Emilie O’Connor | Sepsis Tribute Story

by | Sep 12, 2017

Emilie O’Connor

Sepsis Tribute

Tribute Statistics

Name: Emilie O’Connor

Age At Death From Sepsis: 10 Months

Died From Sepsis: 09 Feb 2017

From: N. Ireland

Died From: Bacteria In Blood, Cardiac Arrest, SEPSIS & Streptococcus Pneumoniae 

(Initially Survived Urine Infection & Sepsis At 2 Weeks Old)



This is the tribute story of 10 month old Emilie O’Connor!

Emilie initially survived a Group B Strep Urine Infection and Sepsis at just 2 weeks old. How sad is it, that she would later develop another infection at 10 months old and die of Sepsis.

Emilie had an existing medical condition which should have made her a priority to be given early antibiotics as her immune system was already compromised and she only weighed 13lbs at 10months old.

But blood work and antibiotics were all delayed and the severity of her condition was sadly missed.

Emilie’s symptoms started over several days with a cold and a temperature but then deteriorated into vomiting, a higher temperature and loud grunting noises.

She would later develop purple spots and a rash which were treated as ‘nothing to worry about’. 

5 hours after this she sadly underwent cardiac arrest and died from bacteria in her blood and Sepsis!

All within 24 hours of her first presenting at A&E.

Tribute Story

Here is our story about one precious little girl, called Emilie, aged just 10 months old.


Our daughter was born on April 6th with a health condition, which never hindered her. We weren’t sure if she would even survive at birth, but she proved everyone wrong and was fantastic, doing everything a normal baby does.

We were so happy with our little miracle baby!


At 2 Weeks Old


At just two weeks old, Emilie developed a Group B Strep urine infection and the doctors looking after her advised us she was starting to go septic, but they had caught it early and it was treated quickly.

She was allowed to go home two weeks later, after IV antibiotics were given to clear up the infection.  

Over the next nine months she was brilliant – such a happy, pleasant girl who enjoyed fun times with her family.


Saturday – 10 Months Old


Then the dreaded week came on Saturday 4th February 2017.

Our daughter had been sick with what we thought was just a common cold. Her temperature had been going up and down for the next few days, so we treated her with paracetamol and Nurofen.

Following this medication she perked up and was in good enough form to take her bottles, but she was not eating solids as much.


Tuesday – GP


On the Tuesday I took her to the GP who said she had a red ear and red throat but felt she had a viral infection and sent us home with no medication and said that if she was no better in the next few days we should bring her back.


Wednesday Evening – Grunting


On Wednesday 8th February her temperature had been up and down all day and at around 10pm she started vomiting.

She’d had a history over the last few months of a cough and vomiting so we weren’t overly concerned, but when we put her to bed at around 11pm she started making grunting noises and her temperature had went up to 38.9.


Early Hours Thursday – A&E First Time


The grunting was new and was extremely loud so we decided to take her to our local A&E in the early hours of the 9th February.

There her temperature went up to 39.3 even after us giving her paracetamol at home. They gave her Nurofen which seemed to reduce the temperature, and they felt that she just had a viral infection.

We were sent home at 4am.


Early Hours Thursday – A&E Second Time


At 4.45am she started vomiting up brown coloured liquid. With her medical history we were concerned that she may have a bowel obstruction and rushed her back to A&E at 5.15am – just over an hour after we had been discharged!

In A&E we waited a bit. Bloods and X-Rays were done around 8am and she was then admitted to the ward where we were informed that another hospital was going to look at the X-Ray to see if there was any obstruction, which was then ruled out in the early morning.

She was then treated for constipation. For the rest of the day her heart rate, temperature and respiratory rate were all elevated and Nurofen and paracetamol were administered regularly.


Thursday Evening – Bloods


At 5pm the hospital labs contacted the ward to say that there was bacteria found in her blood cultures but the doctors felt that given she didn’t seem drastically ill, that this result was a false positive and decided to repeat them later on again.

At this point she still had no cannula in, so there was nowhere for antibiotics to go anyway.


Thursday Evening – Rash


At around 6.15pm the docs came to get a line into her for the antibiotics. This took nearly one hour to do, and at this stage her observations were all raised.

She was less active and her skin was extremely pale and mottled. The antibiotic was finally started and within five minutes we noticed a purple spot on her shoulder. We informed nursing staff who reassured us it was nothing to worry about, however the rash got worse.


Thursday Evening – Critical


We kept saying something was wrong but we weren’t informed that anything serious was wrong. An hour and a half later a consultant came into the room and informed us they were taking her to another hospital as her body was tired and she was unwell still at this stage.

We weren’t informed how critical our daughter actually was.

At around 9pm they started fluid resuscitation and oxygen therapy and did a blood gas to identify her lactate levels – a test which is prioritised in the Sepsis Six bundle.

An hour later she was taken to theatre to prepare her for transfer her to ICU in another hospital.

However she never made it there. She underwent cardiac arrest on the table and sadly passed away at 11.25pm, just under 24 hours from our first presentation to A&E.

It’s only later from reading her notes that we found out she also had Streptococcus Pneumoniae.

Emilie When She First Presented At A&E,

About 22 Hours Before She Died

Love This Photo Of Emilie With Her Cute Little Smiley Face!

Emilie In Her Pretty Red Outfit

This has totally crushed our lives and now we’re trying to raise as much awareness of sepsis as possible.
This is a very dangerous but treatable condition. If sepsis is identified and treated early, the chances of survival are increased. However if not identified quickly the chances of a poor outcome/death increases by 8% every hour that the condition is left untreated.
Signs and Symptoms our daughter presented with were:


Grunting ,Vomiting, high temperature, fast heart rate, high respiratory rate, Mottled skin, passed less urine.

Due to her underlying condition we felt that this should have been priority to give her antibiotics as her immune system was already compromised and she only weighed 13lbs at 10months old.


Raising Awareness

If raising awareness keeps our daughter’s memory alive we will do all in our power to save as many people as possible by highlighting signs and symptoms to both the public and medical staff to try and ensure that no one has to go through this horrific experience that our family had to endure.

Please, please don’t be afraid to “Just Ask: could it be sepsis?”.

Antibiotics started early could potentially save a life!…This could be yours or a loved one’s!