Tragic story of a 16-year-old who went to bed healthy and died from sepsis just hours after waking up

Sepsis affects 150,000 people a year and kills an estimated 44,000, of whom 1,000 are children. It is usually triggered by an infection but escalates rapidly, sparking a vicious immune response in which the body attacks its own vital organs

Adam-TolfreeA 16-year-old boy who went to sleep perfectly healthy died from sepsis just hours after waking up the next morning.

Adam Tolfree, from Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, was rushed to hospital on Saturday morning after his family became concerned.

He had woken up with a rash – a tell-tale sign of the deadly blood infection, throwing up and had a high temperature.

But after a short battle he tragically passed away later that evening, reports Cambridge News.

In a statement, his family paid tribute to their ‘model son’ and credited the efforts of staff at Addenbrooke’s Hospital who fought to keep him alive.

They said: ‘He was kind and good hearted and someone who had made a big difference to people’s lives, by being there for them when they needed him. He was thoroughly enjoying life.

‘The family have drawn great strength and comfort from the extraordinary volume of messages of love and support from so many people.

‘At times like this, you realise just how many wonderful, caring people there are.

‘We would like to pay tribute to the fantastic efforts of the medical team in A&E at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, who battled so hard to save him.

‘And also to thank everyone for their kindness and love at such a difficult time.’

His family also claim that Adam, who grew up in Zambia and the US, was up to date with all his vaccinations.

The student was studying for his A-levels at Long Road Sixth Form College in Cambridge.

Friends paid tribute to him after hearing of his sudden death, saying he would be remembered for his ‘kindness’ and ‘loveliness’.

Janine Parker said: ‘I shall miss this lad so much – his smile, kindness and just general loveliness – thoughts are with all his family.’

Georgie Fayee Barton said: ‘Having Adam in my life was such an honour… losing him at such a young age… it has absolutely killed me losing you Adam. I really miss and love you.’

And those who did not know the teenager, still expressed great sadness at his death.

Charlotte Dyer added: ‘So so sad. Too young. My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends.’

the sign to look out for

Heather Chambers, vice principal at Long Road Sixth Form College where Adam was a student, said: ‘Adam was a very positive 16-year-old, who studied psychology, biology and chemistry A-levels.

‘He was hard working, had high aspirations and was very well liked and respected by other students and his teachers.

‘He was very friendly, with a wide group of friends from both Bassingbourn Village College where he previously studied and Long Road Sixth Form College and they will all miss him.’

His biology teacher added: ‘He had a mature personality with good values sometimes only shown by people many years beyond his age.’

Sign of sepsis

There will be a celebration of Adam’s life to which all his family and friends will be invited.

Sepsis affects 150,000 people a year and kills an estimated 44,000, of whom 1,000 are children.

It is usually triggered by an infection but escalates rapidly, sparking a vicious immune response in which the body attacks its own vital organs.

But despite the severity of the condition, it is very tricky to detect. It can develop rapidly and needs prompt treatment in hospital with antibiotics.

Adam’s death comes after ministers agreed to fund a national campaign to raise awareness of sepsis in September.

The Daily Mail played a part in their decision after previously revealing the number of children needlessly dying from the infection.

Although the signs of sepsis are hard to spot, greater knowledge of some of the symptoms could help people get treatment more quickly, and save lives, they said.

In July, an NHS watchdog ordered that doctors and nurses must treat sepsis with the same urgency as heart attacks.

They must ask themselves ‘could this be sepsis?’ whenever they see patients with a rash, high temperature or raised pulse.

Anyone suspected of having the deadly condition – also known as blood poisoning or septicaemia – must be sent to hospital via emergency ambulance and be seen immediately by a senior doctor or nurse.

Source: Daily Mail