A MAN who fought for his life in a battle with deadly sepsis has spoken out to save lives.

Former company director Martin Davies, who spent weeks in Poole Hospital including three weeks in critical care, says he owes his life to the NHS staff who spotted the signs of the devastating condition which claims the lives of 44,000 lives every year in the UK.

Now the 65-year-old hopes telling his story on World Sepsis Day will raise awareness of the illness, which can be fatal if it is not caught early enough.

It is estimated early recognition and treatment could save more than 12,000 lives a year.

Today Poole Hospital is hosting a special event from 8am until 4pm in the dome area where NHS staff will talk about sepsis and the signs to look for.

Mr Davies, from Winterborne Kingston, said: “I owe my life to the NHS. I am extremely lucky to be here today. If it wasn’t for Poole Hospital I wouldn’t be, I owe my life to them.”

Mr Davies’ ordeal began in July 2008 when he was admitted to hospital with intestinal complications. Medics discovered a liver abscess and he underwent emergency surgery. However Mr Davies suffered a perforated bowel and as a result developed sepsis which left him fighting for his life. Sepsis is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.

He said: “My wife got the phone call to come into the hospital as a matter of urgency. I was put in an induced coma and there were tubes everywhere. My family didn’t know if I would make it.”

The dad-of-two, who also had cerebral abscesses, said: “That's why I want to raise awareness. Sepsis is a terrible and very frightening disease but I had never heard of it before.

“Sepsis is one of those conditions that unless identified very early, it can be fatal. For every hour lost, the chance of survival goes down very quickly."

Mr Davies, who suffered with PTSD, still lives with chronic conditions as a result of the trauma.

However today he feels ‘lucky to be alive’ and grateful sepsis was identified in time and is involved with a number of organisations including NHS Dorset CCG, Wessex Academic Health and NHS England to help improve care and ‘give something back.’

Mr Davies, who has also founded the support group ICUsteps Poole, said: “I feel like an incredibly lucky man. Others are not so lucky. More people die from sepsis than prostate, bowel and breast cancer combined.

“It’s imperative that people are aware of the signs and symptoms and that they act fast.”

For information about sepsis go to sepsistrust.org

To find out about ICUsteps which supports anyone who has been through intensive care as a patient or relative go to icusteps.org