Family's support for 'mum-in-a-million' after double amputation for sepsis

Pamela holding a baby and smiling at the camera

Pamela, 51, with her third grandchild Ida. - Credit: Rosie Driscoll

A devoted daughter from Bury St Edmunds is raising funds for her mother who had to have a double leg amputation after contracting Pneumococcal Septicaemia.

Rosie Driscoll, 30, is raising money for her "mum-in-a-million" Pamela Driscoll to prepare for her upcoming need for cosmetic surgery and prosthetic limbs.

She said: "Sepsis may have robbed her of her limbs, but not her life."

Behind the fundraiser are an array of loving friends and family members including her children, siblings, husband, mother, nieces, nephews and grandchildren.

Sean, Pamela, Gary, and Rosie posing for a group shot

Sean (Pamela's husband), Pamela, Gary (Rosie's partner) and Rosie. - Credit: Rosie Driscoll

Rosie said: "She has spent her whole life looking out for all of us and now we need to look out for her."

On Sunday, April 10, Pamela developed flu-type symptoms which kept her in bed all day.

Her condition worsened considerably overnight and by Monday, April 11 she was fighting for her life in the West Suffolk Intensive Care Unit.

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With her organs rapidly failing and her skin swollen beyond recognition, hospital staff were forced to put Pamela into an induced coma.

A couple of days later she was diagnosed with Pneumococcal Septicaemia and a scan confirmed that her spleen was no longer functioning.

It took five days before the staff felt ready to bring her out of the induced coma, take her off kidney dialysis and test whether she could breathe on her own.

By this point, her skin looked as if she had suffered severe burns and blisters covered her arms, hands and legs.

On Friday, April 29, Pamela was transferred to Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford for specialist skin care.

As skin on her feet and hands had turned black, they had to use donated skin to undertake extensive skin grafts on her back, buttocks, arms, palms and thighs.

The most devastating news, however, was that she would require below the knee amputation for both legs and would also have to lose all fingers and thumb on her left hand.

Pamela underwent this life-changing surgery on Tuesday, May 10.

Rosie said: "Just because they've taken little bits of her, there is no less of her to love."

Pamela Driscoll on her wedding day in 1990

Pamela Driscoll on her wedding day in 1990 - Credit: Pamela Driscoll

Pamela will remain in hospital for the foreseeable future to complete daily physio sessions, have her wounds checked, and her dressings changed.

The process of having her wounds redressed every couple of days is so painful that she needs to be fully sedated.

Rosie said: "We cannot put into words how brave and strong she has been throughout this horrific nightmare.

"In true 'Mummy Pam' style, she remains rational and positive - she worries more about how her family and friends are coping than about herself."

Sean, Pamela, Eloise and George posing for a group chot

Sean, Pamela, Eloise (George's partner) and George (Pamela's son) - Credit: Rosie Driscoll

Before contracting Pneumococcal Septicaemia Pamela held a part-time job at a local Sainsbury's petrol station.

The future of her return to work remains uncertain.

She is also a fundamental part of Station Autos, the family's MOT station.

Rosie worries for her father who will be taking on the role of carer as well as balancing his work at Station Autos, their only source of income.

She said: "One thing is definite: Mum is determined to live again."

Money raised via their GoFundMe page will be used to make adaptions to their bungalow in Lawshall.

The bathroom will need to be converted into a wet room and they will also require changes to their transport in order to ensure Pamela can remain mobile.

Pamela has also requested a mobility scooter with a flower basket on the front.

Rosie is insistent on ensuring her mum can continue to live life to the full but worries for the cost of this combined with the ultimate goal of prosthetic limbs.

She said: "Any amount you can afford will be appreciated more than you'll know.

"If lots of people can give a little, that combined with Mum's positive mental attitude will make her future bright again."