Chloe Christopher sepsis

Chloe Christopher, whose mother has described how she tried to save her daughter's life as she collapsed and died from sepsis.
A grieving mother has recalled the last words of her teenage daughter who she said was laughing and joking moments before she collapsed and died from sepsis.

Chloe Christopher, 17, died on New Year's Eve in 2014 after developing the illness.

The student, of Cwmaman, near Aberdare, Wales, was thought to have been suffering a chest infection at the time when she collapsed and told her mother Michelle: "Mam, I'm frightened, I don't feel very well."

Ms Christopher is now speaking about the tragedy to urge people to learn to recognise the signs of sepsis.

It was so sudden; one minute laughing and joking, the next she said she felt unwell and a bit scared," she said in a video by the Welsh Ambulance Service.

"She then collapsed in front of us. Hearing the words 'Mam, I'm frightened, I don't feel very well' will stay with me forever.

"I phoned for the emergency services immediately and even though we didn't know what was happening, we knew it was serious.

Chloe suffered a cardiac arrest in front of us, and having to try and perform CPR on your own daughter was indescribable.

"The emergency staff were amazing, and tried their utmost to save Chloe but to no avail."

Ms Christopher said Chloe seemed to be suffering from a cold or the start of a chest infection during Christmas that year.

Chloe spent the evening of her death with one of her closest friends "laughing and joking" and looking forward to a fancy dress party for New Year.

She added: "It was so sudden; one minute laughing and joking, the next she said she felt unwell and a bit scared."

Sepsis occurs when the body's response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. It can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death, especially when not recognised early.

The family were first aware that Chloe, a student at Aberdare Community School, had developed sepsis at the teenager's inquest five months later, when it emerged she had a urine infection which turned to sepsis, led to multi-organ failure and then cardiac arrest.

The Welsh Ambulance Service is calling on people to seek help immediately if they suspect the signs of sepsis.

Andy Swinburn, assistant director of paramedicine at the trust, said: "Sepsis is a serious condition that can initially look like flu, gastroenteritis or a chest infection.

"If you develop slurred speech or confusion, extreme shivering or muscle pain, severe breathlessness, mottled skin or you have trouble passing urine, it could be sepsis and you must seek medical help immediately, it could mean the difference between life and death."