The family of a previously healthy 39-year-old man who lost three limbs to sepsis has launched a crowdfunding appeal so he can home.

Jay Phillips from Truro was extremely fit and healthy when he suddenly became unwell with sepsis on November 17 last year.

Enjoying a coffee with son Jack before the diagnosis

Enjoying a coffee with son Jack before the diagnosis

Jay had been suffering what seemed to be flu, but after deteriorating and developing a rash, his wife Lisa called 999.

He was put onto life support at The Royal Cornwall Hospital, where doctors found that he had pneumonia and two infected heart valves, which had triggered sepsis.

Jay did not see his son jack for five months

Jay did not see his son jack for five months

Jay’s outlook wasn’t good, but doctors at the Treliske Hospital were able to stabilise him before transferring him to The Royal Brompton Hospital in London for life-saving surgery on his heart on December 9.

He returned to hospital at Treliske after a month in London before being transferred again, this time to Salisbury Hospital specialist plastic surgery unit, where he underwent amputation surgery on both lower legs and left arm with complex reconstruction surgery on his right arm.

Jay was an extremely fit and healthy 39 year old

Jay was an extremely fit and healthy 39 year old

Sadly, due to COVID visiting restrictions, Jay’s family and friends were unable to be by his side throughout the ordeal, which was extremely difficult. Due to the muscle damage sustained, Jay has been unable to move his arms or hands, so couldn’t even stay in touch on his phone.

Lisa and Jay in hospital

Lisa and Jay in hospital

Jay has only been able to see his son Jack once in over 5 months, and his wife Lisa had been travelling the 360 mile round trip to visit Jay once a week in Salisbury.

After losing over 4 stone, he is fighting to regain the weight and muscle lost through being so critically ill. His swallow muscles were affected so he was unable to eat, however recently he has started to eat normally again, and even enjoyed a Byron Burger a few weeks ago!

Jay is currently undergoing intensive amputee rehabilitation

Jay is currently undergoing intensive amputee rehabilitation

He has just started a ten week stay at the prosthetics and amputation rehabilitation centre in London, which is the final stretch before he will return home.

However, this is providing that the adaptions and work on the house is complete, which at the moment have not yet been started due to delays from local authorities.

Understandably, he will require ongoing support and specialist adaptations to his home to help him be independent – his family are currently crowdfunding to raise funds for a downstairs wet room, stairlift, wheelchair and prosthetics, amongst other things. To make a donation, visit

Sepsis: an overview

Many people have never heard of sepsis, or if they have, people are often confused about what it is, and what signs to look out for. However, sepsis kills 48,000 people in the UK every year, which is more than breast, bowel and prostate cancer deaths combined. If it isn’t treated immediately, as a medical emergency, it can take someone’s life in under 24 hours.

Sepsis is the body’s over-reaction to an infection or injury, which causes the immune system to attack its own organs and tissues. It affects 245,000 people every year in the UK and is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths worldwide (11 million people). If not caught quickly enough, sepsis can result in organ failure, amputation and death. However, with early diagnosis it can be treated with intravenous antibiotics and fluids, and the outlook is often good for the majority of patients who proactively seek urgent medical attention!

The most crucial thing to understand is that sepsis is triggered by any infection or injury (no matter how minor either may seem). Some of the most common causes of sepsis in both adults and children are from urinary tract infections, infected cuts or bites, a wound from trauma or recent surgery and chest infections.

What do I need to look out for?

There’s no ‘one sign’ and so it can be difficult to identify. If you, or a loved one, display any of the symptoms – which spell sepsis – listed below or are just really unwell, seek immediate medical advice and ‘Just Ask: “Could it be Sepsis?”’

Symptoms of sepsis in adults:

• Slurred speech or confusion

• Extreme shivering or muscle pain

• Passing no urine in 24 hours

• Severe breathlessness

• ‘I feel like I might die’

• Skin that's mottled, very pale, or slightly blue

Many people are surprised to see ‘it feels like I’m going to die’ listed as a symptom, but this is frequently reported amongst people who have suffered from sepsis! Many people who survive say that it was the most unwell they’ve ever felt, and that it feels incredibly frightening.

The most common symptoms in children are:

• Very fast breathing

• A seizure or a ‘fit’

• Skin that's mottled, pale or slightly blue

• Rash that does not fade when you press it

• Very lethargic or difficult to wake

• Abnormally cold to touch

The most common symptoms in children under 5 years-old are as above, and also include:

• Not feeding

• Vomiting repeatedly

• Not passing urine for 12 hours