Mom Who Nearly Died From Toxic Shock Syndrome Shares Her Message

I don’t mean to sound cliche, but I truly believe that I was meant to see your story today!  I mean, what working Mom of 2 just happens to turn on the 1st day of the Masters (in the middle of a work day, by myself, without my husband’s influence?) Needless to say, I was riveted, relieved (for your survival), thankful, and instantly felt a connection to you and this cause.  You see, I too am a survivor of Toxic Shock Syndrome and Sepsis.  There is so much more to my story, as I’m sure there is yours, but I will try to sum it up.

On May 4th, 2017, I became ill.  On May 7th, I was clinging to life in the ICU.  Here is a post from a Facebook page, “Inspiration for Aimee”, that my friends and family created for me when I was in the ICU just last May.  This was my only way of communicating with my loved ones all over the country during this two week ordeal.  Quite frankly, I believe this support system is a major reason why I’m still here today.

MAY 17, 2017

“Over a week ago, I thought that the stress of our move had just taken its toll on me. I got a fever, aches, chills and, over a course of 36 hours, I went from thinking I had the flu to clinging to life in the emergency room. I was told that I would have been dead if I had waited another hour to come in. This extremely rare case of toxic shock syndrome put my body into septic shock. In short, every single one of my organs was under attack. My fever rose to 106.8 degrees, I was put on a bed of ice (literally), and I was instantly put on 3 antibiotics, 3 blood pressure medications, oxygen, an immense amount of IV fluids, catheterized, and bunch of other things that I never want to think of again. My family (immediate and extended…you know who you are) went into overdrive to be by my side.

Throughout the course of this week, I kept making milestones (which I tried to update on this site). Although my body, vision and mind were and are still not “normal”, writing has been cathartic and my best way of communication. My physical journey is unbelievable to me and thank God for modern medicine. But my emotional and spiritual journey are almost even more incredible. I never lost consciousness throughout this time, so bear with me here as I say this. I did have contact with loved ones who have passed, I saw a white light, for those Catholics out there…I had my Last Rites given to me, twice. And now, I’m back home. I slept in my bed last night, I put my kids to bed (not successfully, but I tried), I woke up next to my husband just as I have done for over a decade. And life goes on…”

There is so much more to my journey this past year: learning to walk again, acclimating back to being a “normal” wife/mom/daughter/friend/etc., skin peeling, temporary loss of vision, extreme fatigue, weight gain, hair loss, a miscarriage…the list goes on.  But in THIS moment, I want to help, I want to spread this message! 

– Aimee H. Follis