Peterborough mum had all her fingers amputated after going into septic shock

A Cambridgeshire mum who fought for her life in hospital after contracting sepsis finally returns home after having all 10 fingers amputated. Sadie Kemp spent a total of 103 nights in Peterborough City hospital away from her two sons as she recovered from sepsis.

Sadie Kemp, 34, from Peterborough was suffering from what she thought was back pain on Christmas Day in 2021 before she was left in agonizing pain. She was rushed to A&E where they gave her pain relief and was advised to return if it proceeded to get worse.

By the early hours of Boxing Day Sadie returned to the hospital and collapsed in front of doctors. Sadie woke up two weeks later from life support and was told by doctors she had gone into septic shock from a kidney stone which caused the skin on her arms and legs to become necrotic.

Read more: Peterborough mum collapsed with backache woke up to be told she needs all four limbs amputated

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when your immune system responds to an infection and starts to damage your body’s tissue and organs or they become necrotic. Septic shock happens when someone with sepsis has a severe drop in blood pressure, this can become fatal.

Thankfully, Sadie beat the odds and was classified as a ‘medical miracle’ for surviving the ordeal. Sadie fought for her life and spent a total of 103 nights in hospital where she had to have all 10 fingers amputated and continued to go through extensive recovery. During this time Sadie was away from her two sons, Kenzie, 16, and Hendrix, two. But finally, on Wednesday, April 13 Sadie was able to leave Peterborough hospital and return to her parents’ home with her two children.

On the day the mum of two left hospital staff members gathered in the corridor and clapped for Sadie, an emotional and wonderful moment. Sadie shares how this felt and said: “It was really emotional. Even though I had been in hospital for 103 nights all I wanted to do is get home to my children. The hardest part of this whole trauma that has happened to me is being away from my children, not losing my limbs but being away from them.

“Obviously I did want to come home but at the same time, that hospital staff has been my safety net. So I was very anxious about leaving at first and when they were clapping me out I was like oh my god I’m going home, it was very emotional. I cried all the way home ”.

Sadie was greeted by her two children holding a ‘welcome home’ banner in the window. “I was just so happy to be home,” Sadie said.

Asking Sadie how it feels to be home she said: “It feels really good. When I was in hospital I kept thinking about things that I would not be able to do when I got home, but I’ve actually surprised myself and actually managed to do it. I put shorts on my little boy yesterday and we were playing in the garden or I went to the pub with my friends for a beer. We’re just getting back to normal. Even though I’m not as active as I was It feels really good to be able to do the stuff that I thought I was not going to be able to do again ”.



Sadie was able to get her two-year-old dressed in his shorts, something she thought she would not be able to do again

Although there are a number of things Sadie has felt proud she can do since returning home there are still adjustments that have been challenging Sadie explains: “I get frustrated with a lot of things. To be able to get up and cook my own food I’d love to be able to do that, but I’m not at the stage in my recovery.

“Or if there’s a mess on the floor, something spills or my little boy drops something I’m not able to pick it up for him. I’m not advanced in my recovery where I’m completely back to functioning on my own, which I really want to do ”. Sadie adds: “it’s really hard work”.

However, Sadie is determined to find new ways she can do things such as taking the bins out and other households jobs in order to help settle back into life at home with her two boys. Along with support from her family and friends who have “really stuck by me” Sadie shares.

Sadie will look into moving into her own accommodation with her two sons to live independently, “as soon as I am able to safely be on my own, then I need to and I need to do it for my children” Sadie explains. The next step for Sadie includes several operations one of which is on May 4 to “tidy up the hands” Sadie explains before she can have two prosthetic hands fitted. Once fitted they will enable Sadie to have two fully functioning hands.

Sadie’s consultant said her recovery time would be 18 months in total so at the moment there is no set time when Sadie will be able to have the prosthetic hands fitted as it is dependent on operations and recovery time. The prosthetic hands will also need to be made to fit Sadie, however, Sadie is hoping to have them fitted by the end of the year.

Each fully functioning prosthetic hand costs £ 35,000 which Sadie is raising the money for. Sadie explains: “Altogether £ 70,000 I need just to have fully functioning hands again. I’m really excited about getting prosthetic hands and actually being able to learn how to use them and do stuff ”.



Sadie Kemp at the A2 ward
Sadie spent a lot of time being cared for in the A2 ward at Peterborough hospital

As well as this, Sadie is waiting for a decision to be made about her two legs that were also damaged from the sepsis. Sadie shares that she will find out in four weeks whether she will need both legs amputated below the knee, adding that it could be one leg or half of her foot.

Sadie explains that her consultant has told her to prepare for the worse for losing both legs below the knee after a previous examination but this is not confirmed. Sadie currently uses a wheelchair but likes to show her two sons she can walk a short distance.

Asking Sadie how it feels waiting for this news she said: “I’m just happy that I’m out of the woods health-wise, I know that I’m not going to die. So now I’m just got to get on with it and recover. Sadie adds: “The sepsis has made me lose the ability to use my legs and hands and if they can fix it by taking my legs off, I’m going to take it”.



Sadie Kemp in hospital
All 10 fingers had to be amputated and Sadie is now waiting for a decision to be made if she needs her legs amputated too

From speaking with Sadie it is clear to hear how positive and determined she is to recover from the traumatic ordeal and to continue to enjoy life with her two sons. Sadie said: “I just think let’s have fun, let’s all be together as a family”.

Sadie also explains how the experience has changed her outlook on life and has made her think about what’s really important. “It really makes me think positively” and “it has changed my outlook on life, it really has”.

“I’m having to take each day when it comes I do not know what’s going to happen. But when I’s well and able to I just want to have days out. I do not want to be sat at home. I’m not wasting my time ”.

The mum of two is now eager to share her story, to speak and help people in as many ways as possible, helping to spread awareness of sepsis. Explaining that she’d rather people come up to her and ask questions rather than not talk about it.

As well as this Sadie frequently shares her story and updates on her social media platforms including on Facebook and her TikTik account. And this is not all, Sadie has also arranged a huge fundraising event to help raise money for Peterborough Critical Care and Ward A2 – the two main wards that looked after Sadie.

The event will be held on July 9 at the Greystones in Sawtry. There will be a raffle with a chance to win a holiday and is said to be a day for all the family to enjoy. Further details about the event will be released.

You can follow Sadie’s journey and updates on her Facebook page here and you can also donate to Sadie’s Gofundme page here.

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