Sophie Royce was sure she had nothing to worry about when she began feeling sick to her stomach in 2013.
The 25-year-old nursing student from Reigate, England, thought she had a stomach bug that would go away in a day or so, but her condition quickly deteriorated to the point where she needed immediate medical attention. Shortly after paramedics took her to the hospital, doctors discovered that she had contracted a rare form of bacterial meningitis called meningococcal septicemia. This infection causes bacteria to multiply in the bloodstream and damage blood vessel walls, which causes bleeding in the skin and organs.
Though doctors were doing everything they could to stabilize Royce, her blood pressure fell dramatically and she went into organ failure and cardiac arrest due to sepsis. By this time, her whole body was purple and she only had a one percent chance of survival.
Her family was ready to say their final goodbyes to her when doctors hooked her up to an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine, which allowed her lungs to recover. This ended up saving her life.
During her treatment, she lost so much blood that she had to receive 37 transfusions. The sepsis had also caused gangrene in her extremities, so all of her toes and the tips of her fingers needed to be amputated.