Resilience + Co Autumn News 2019

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

17 October 2019. Today we had the most fantastic drive through the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside to be with staff at the Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust. This is such a great part of the country, and only an hour away from our home in Rutland.

The event was an Infection Prevention and Control Bugs Away Day and it was really well attended. Nic and I told our sepsis story in great detail, from the onset of symptoms, from both the carer’s and the patient’s point of view. As ever, you could hardly hear a pin drop in the room as our audience took in the brutality and all-consuming impact of sepsis. Even 20 years on, the memories are powerful, shocking, and terribly relevant.

I spoke about waking from my 5-month coma with amputations to my arms and legs. Nic went into detail on the impact sepsis had on our marriage and family life. About giving birth to our son whilst I was in the operating theatre, about the fight for life.

And love. Above all, our sepsis story is also about love, and continuing with life under any circumstances. We talked about our resilience, what kept us together through the very worst of times. We had a great discussion about the stresses everyone in the room goes through too, and how we can all seek to cushion ourselves – where we can go for solace and release, when times get tough.

There were strong reactions. Lots of love and warmth in the room. Personally, although of course I know the story and I’ve told it hundreds of times over, I was powerfully moved to give testimony about how Nic as a carer saved me. And I am always heartened to spend time with nurses, district nurses and healthcare assistants – many of them helped to sustain me through the years.

It’s all about awareness. Keeping sepsis at the front of our minds, we spoke about signs and symptoms, always looking out for it. Plus, the terrible toll and the complications of post sepsis syndrome for survivors. I think everyone in the room felt these issues deeply.

Next: on 22 October we’ll be speaking at the Leeds Teaching Hospitals StampOutSepsis2 “Inspiring Improvement” event, raising more awareness of symptoms, risks, treatment and outcomes for patients. There’s so much more that we can all do to combat sepsis – and we’re proud to be part of helping to reduce mortality and suffering. One of our key themes will be on post sepsis syndrome which can often be invisible and distressing for the survivor and their families.

And actually, today was fun. Nic and I met some brilliant people, in a lovely part of the country. We came away feeling good about the future. Onwards.

Future Events-details to follow

Plymouth University Cornwall

Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust

University of Derby and Burton NHS Trust

Dinner at the House of Lords

Sepsis Awareness Week September 2019

Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Blackpool Tower illuminated with the sepsis awareness heart symbol.

During International Sepsis Awareness Week in September we had a busy and highly enjoyable time in Blackpool. First, we had a two-way conversation with survivors of sepsis which triggered new insights to the various ways people suffer and often struggle. We then had a session with the highly motivated clinical staff who have halved the number of preventable deaths from sepsis.

Starfish was shown once to trust staff and once to members of the public at the local cinema. The discussions following the screenings were open and honest and many of the comments included heart felt thanks to Tom and Nic.

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust

Tom meets Jaco Nel. Long-time Twitter buddies with a helluva story to tell.

Early in October we spent a day with staff from various community health and local authority staff. The programme was full of extremely informative presentations including a debate about the “Golden Hour”. If someone is in septic shock they need antibiotics as quickly as possible. However, there is emerging evidence that treatment for people with sepsis does not have to commence quite so rapidly. This opens up the possibility of starting the patient on the most appropriate antibiotics once the blood test results have returned. This could contribute to a reduced use of broad spectrum antibiotics and a reduction in anti-microbial resistance.


Best Practice in Association with the National Association of Primary Care

In May 2019 we were excited to be in Birmingham for the Best Practice Conference. This was the largest Primary Care Conference in Europe with over 6000 health professionals expected to attend over the two days. In addition to our presentation we launched our Resilience Coaching Product for individuals and organisations.

RCN Conference 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Royal College of Nursing Congress. Our messages of calling for mandatory training for Sepsis and protected time and resources for Continuing Professional Development has caught the attention of the BBC, ITV Sky News and several Newspapers. That’s how come we found ourselves adorning the ‘This Morning’ sofa with Eamonn and Ruth Holmes.

The three of us represent the patient, carer and clinician and are keen to speak to as many people as possible. We have travelled far and wide and met some remarkable people from all walks of life. Sepsis does not discriminate so our message is relevant to every one.

In the UK 250,000 people contract sepsis every year and tragically 52,000 people lose their lives. By working to spread awareness and understanding, together we can make a real impact, significantly reducing the mortality and suffering caused by this condition.

We’re looking forward to continuing on our amazing journey.

Tom is included in the Disability Power 100 list 2018

“I feel very honoured to be included in the Shaw Trust Power 100 List. I need to publicly give thanks to my wife Nic Ray, who has sacrificed so much and encouraged me back to life over a long period. The role of carers in the UK should be valued and supported much more than it is. I’m keen to spread understanding about Sepsis and to help all people feel that they can cope with their life challenges.”

Nick Bell, Interim Chief Executive of Shaw Trust – a charity helping to transform the lives of young people and adults across the UK and internationally,said:

“Congratulations to Tom. The judges were beyond impressed by the standard of nominations but selected the most influential people who are proving that disability or impairment is not a barrier to success. One of our aims for the Disability Power 100 list is to demonstrate to young people that they can achieve their ambitions. At Shaw Trust we work with government, local authorities and employers to support people overcome barriers which hold them back from achieving their potential.”

The full Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List can be found

About the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 List

The Shaw Trust Power List is an annual publication of the 100 most influential disabled people in the UK. Since its inception four years ago, the publication has gone from strength to strength. Over the years it has allowed Shaw Trust to encourage businesses, employers and other organisations to reflect on opportunities available for disabled people. The list plays a vital role in providing much needed encouragement to the young and talented leaders of tomorrow, allowing them to see that aspiration and ambition can be fulfilled regardless of disability or impairment.

For more information please visit:

TEDx 2018

Many to Guildford Grammar School for hosting TEDx Guildford. Tom and Nic’s powerful joint talk ‘They Took you from me Limb by Limb’ got a great reception from the audience and is available to view on YouTube.



World Sepsis Day 2017

We found ourselves on GMB sofa chatting to Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan. We feel so privileged to share the sepsis story with their audience of million. Awareness is everything.

Click for full clip