By

Veronica

Kelly’s Story – Necrotising Faciitis ‘The Hardest Was to Be A Mother Again’

Kelly is a stay at home mum of two young children.

In August 2022 Kelly developed a life-threatening infection called Necrotising Fasciitis known as a flesh-eating disease which was slowly eating away at her leg and caused a devastating injury and wound stretching from her ankle to the top of her leg. Alongside this, Kelly also developed Sepsis which put her into a coma for a few days.

Once Kelly was stabilised and out of immediate danger, her recovery began but it left her with devastating injuries and trauma. She had to learn to walk again, use everyday items such as utensils and THE hardest was to be a mother again.

The trauma of her injuries had such devastating effects on Kelly, not just physically but psychologically too. What was once her motivation and enjoyment – playing with her children and taking them to school – she was now unable to do, breaking her heart.  Not being able to do simple things like putting the children to bed or playing on the floor had such a detrimental effect on Kelly.

Kelly wore a façade to get through each day and because of her spritely nature, she was declined by numerous organisations for mental health support despite pleading for help. By this point, Kelly felt at her lowest. On several occasions, she told her mum she no longer wanted to be a mum and even considered ending her life because she had no purpose and felt completely alone in a very dark place.

Her friend then discovered the Katie Piper Foundation as a possible place to support Kelly. After so much disappointment, Kelly didn’t hold much hope, but she explained how contacting the Katie Piper Foundation was the best decision she ever made. Within 24 hours, she’d had her initial callback and within two weeks there was a programme of support for her with counselling, physiotherapy, and meditation sessions which Kelly had never considered before but has had a massive positive impact.

At first, Kelly felt quite overwhelmed by the sheer number of appointments gifted to her, but it was a positive sense of overwhelm. She finally felt like she had a reason to get up each day and a new routine that gave her a new sense of purpose centred around her recovery and ultimately for her family.

After a year of support from the Katie Piper Foundation, Kelly still has regular sessions as part of her personalised rehabilitation. Kelly found she was having triggering thoughts around future surgeries, through her counselling support, hypnotherapy was offered to prepare her for upcoming surgeries. Even her young son Ronan has been able to access Meditation sessions to support his mental wellbeing after he was left traumatised by the experience of witnessing his mum almost dying in bed. The impact was so significant on Ronan, that he became selective mute when Kelly was in the hospital. This, she can’t thank the charity enough for.

One of Kelly’s goals was to get down on the floor and play Barbies with her little girl, Alanna, which she can now do thanks to the ongoing support from the Katie Piper Foundation.

Kelly said; “Life won’t be what it once was but with the help of the Katie Piper Foundation, I can now provide a new normal for myself and my children. 

What struck me most is that you don’t have to fight for help or plead your case. It is there for you and more services are offered depending on my needs.”

Kelly describes the Katie Piper Foundation as a hub of support through one charity – the best charity.

Kelly wanted to tell any survivor facing uncertainty or feeling like she was; “a new norm is on its way for you, and you will be okay. You will get there, it will take time but you will get there”.

Kelly concluded;

“I can honestly say hand on heart, that the Katie Piper Foundation saved my life, I’m not sure I would be here without them.

 

 

Amy’s story – From Survivor to Advocate for Mental Health and Peer Support 

In the wake of the traumatic burns she suffered at Leeds Festival in 2014, Amy not only battled physical pain but also endured the profound mental and emotional toll of PTSD and anxiety. Despite not knowing about available support during her recovery, Amy found purpose in her pain, channelling her experiences into a mission to help others facing similar struggles. Her journey led her to discover the transformative power of peer support and the vital role it plays in healing and recovery. 

Amy’s journey to recovery was marked by the invisible scars of trauma. The emotional aftermath of her accident left her grappling with PTSD and anxiety, compounding the physical pain of her injuries.  Amy felt isolated and overwhelmed, unsure of how to navigate the complexities of her mental health. Yet, Amy’s resilience remained steadfast, propelling her toward a brighter future and instilling the motivation to go to uni a year later to study Psychology so she could one day work towards training as a clinical psychologist and help others. 

In 2017, Amy’s path intersected with the Katie Piper Foundation, offering her a lifeline of hope and healing. Through the charity’s call for burns survivors to share their stories, Amy found a community of kindred spirits who understood the depths of her pain. Despite initial hesitations, Amy embraced the opportunity to connect with others who had walked a similar path, discovering a sense of belonging and acceptance that she had long yearned for. As she became increasingly involved with the charity, Amy recognised the profound impact of peer support on her recovery journey. 

Amy’s involvement with the Katie Piper Foundation ignited a passion for advocacy and empowerment. Through her volunteer work, she has played an instrumental role in helping shape and expand the charity’s services, ensuring that fellow survivors received the holistic support they deserved. Amy understands the importance of reaching out for help and embracing the resources available through organisations like the Katie Piper Foundation. Her advice to hesitant survivors reflects her own experiences and the profound impact of peer support on her healing journey. If you are an adult burns survivor in the UK please click the link to find out how we can support you here

Amy’s Advice: “Be open-minded, take what’s on offer as the Katie Piper Foundation has a breadth of support for survivors which I wish I had known about when I was first injured. It will help you not feel alone as you will meet so many like-minded people”. 

From the depths of trauma and despair, Amy has emerged as a fierce advocate for mental health and peer support, driven by her unwavering commitment to helping others find hope and healing. As she continues her journey to soon be training as a clinical psychologist, Amy’s legacy serves as a reminder that no one should ever have to face their struggles alone. 

Next month will see Amy lace up her running shoes and prepare to tackle the Manchester Half Marathon to commemorate all she has overcome in the last 10 years. She embodies the spirit of resilience and hope that defines her journey. With every step, Amy inspires others to embrace their paths of healing and recovery, reminding us all that no obstacle is insurmountable when faced with courage and determination. 

To show your support and encouragement for Amy’s incredible journey, consider making a donation to her fundraising page and join her in making a difference in the lives of burns survivors everywhere. If you are an adult burns survivor in the UK please click the link to find out how we can support you here