A MUM of a little boy whose foot was amputated after a battle with sepsis has spoken out to raise awareness of the deadly condition.

Aimee Thompson faced every parent’s worst nightmare when she cuddled her baby son Oscar for what could be the final time as he fought for his life.

Little Oscar was initially diagnosed with croup at Poole Hospital but his condition deteriorated and he would not be alive today without life-saving efforts from specialist teams.

Speaking on World Sepsis Day to urge parents to trust their instincts Aimee, from Christchurch, said: “It was the worst time imaginable. Not knowing if your baby is going to be okay is every parent’s worst nightmare.

“I had never heard of sepsis before Oscar contracted it. We believe he contracted it that day in hospital. If he wasn’t there, it would have got the better of him.

“Sepsis is deadly and quick. This mother’s instinct was thankfully quicker. You know your baby. You have to trust those instincts."

Aimee’s nightmare began in August 2015 when Oscar became ill with breathing problems, coughing and a high temperature.

The 29-year-old took Oscar to hospital three times when he was diagnosed with croup.

However his condition deteriorated and she returned to hospital a fourth time.

"I just knew something wasn't right. He couldn't catch his breath. He was crying, he was really bad. His cheeks were so bright red. He was like a ghost but with red cheeks."

Oscar had not eaten for a week and though he was drinking, was not passing urine.

Within hours Oscar was fighting for his life. He had contracted deadly sepsis as a result of pneumonia and streptococcus A.

Sepsis claims the lives of 44,000 lives every year in the UK and it is estimated early recognition and treatment could save more than 12,000 lives.

Sepsis is the reaction to an infection in which the body attacks its own organs and tissues.

"His oxygen levels were going down and down. He was giving up."

A specialist team from Southampton General Hospital arrived and Oscar underwent an operation to drain the fluids on his lungs after suffering a collapsed lung. In surgery, he went into cardiac arrest and doctors battled for 16 minutes to save him.

Their life-saving efforts included injecting his foot with high doses of adrenaline to restart his heart which caused irreversible damage to his foot.

He was taken to Southampton where he was in coma for four days with fears he may have suffered brain damage.

Oscar recovered but doctors were later left with no other option than to amputate his left foot as a result of his ordeal.

Though Oscar has adapted to life with a prosthetic which he names his 'bit' when parents Aimee and Phil Gorrod say to 'put your shoe on, and don't forget your bit', he faces daily struggles.

Aimee said: “We were so super glad and relieved that he was coming home, he could have lost both feet, arms, everything. We didn’t care as long as we had our baby back. It was a case of this is him now and this is what we will deal with.

"We thank God every day! We aren't religious but we prayed so hard every day in that hospital.

"Oscar is very lucky to be alive, we know that. He is a tough little cookie. He could have given up on that operating table when he had the cardiac arrest but he fought so hard.

“He is our little miracle.”

Laura Smith, Poole Hospital’s lead nurse for sepsis, said: “Sepsis is a serious condition, and raising public awareness of the symptoms is an important way in which we can help reduce the number of deaths each year.

“By improving awareness, as well as how the NHS treats patients with suspected sepsis, we really can save lives.”

For more information about sepsis go to sepsistrust.org