Grandfather, 57, Was Left Fighting For His Life After "Developing Sepsis From Biting Nails"

Grandfather, 57, Was Left Fighting For His Life After "Developing Sepsis From Biting Nails"

Ricky Kennedy spent months in hospitals battling the disease.

Ricky Kennedy is sharing his story about battling a "silent killer." If you have a habit of biting your nails, perhaps Kennedy's story will make you think again before reaching for those talons. The 57-year-old claims that he nibbled his nail down too far and a blister ended up appearing on his thumb. The grandad developed sepsis from 'biting his nails.' What is sepsis? It is a life-threatening disease that occurs when the body reacts to an infection by attacking its own organs and tissues. Think of it as the body's defense system going into overdrive in response to an infection. According to Healthline, sepsis develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead. Severe cases of sepsis can lead to septic shock, which is a medical emergency. It has been reported that this type of infection kills more than 250,000 Americans a year.



As for Kennedy, who is from Dumbarton in Scotland, he eventually went to see a doctor as he was growing concerned about the blister on his thumb. He was given antibiotics to clear the suspected infection. However, things took a turn for the worse as the infection seem to spread to his arms and chest and he was rushed to hospital. What looked completely harmless at first, ended up leaving Kennedy in hospital for months, fighting for his life. According to The Daily Record, he said "I didn't think for a second that the cut on my thumb was the cause of it all. It was tiny. I had bitten my nail like that hundreds of times before so to think it almost killed me is terrifying. I was in so much pain, I couldn't move. I thought I was having a heart attack and I really did think I was going to die. If it wasn't for Ghislaine [his 65-year-old wife] phoning an ambulance I would be dead."



What prompted his wife to call for help? When she returned home, she noticed that her husband seemed extremely unwell. She explained, "By the time the doctor got here it was all spreading down Ricky's arms and chest. He was absolutely delirious—he didn't even know what age he was and he could barely breathe or stand up. I didn't think he was going to make it." He was diagnosed with sepsis and the couple was told it was a matter of life and death.

Representational Image Source: Getty Images/ Singjai20


Kennedy, who also has type 2 diabetes, endured months of hospital stays in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital but admitted that much of it was a blur. “I don’t remember a thing from when I was first taken to hospital. All I can remember is asking a nurse if I was going to die. It was a terrible time and you sink into a depression being stuck in hospital for that long. I just wanted to come home but we were so lucky to have so many people visit and help us through it." Kennedy, who was first given a 50% chance of survival and spent months in hospital, managed to survive the ordeal. Now he has been left with an eroded collarbone, septic arthritis, and asthma and is still in excruciating pain, but he admitted, "I'm lucky to be alive. I may never be as healthy or as strong as I was, but I'm still here with my family and that is very precious to me."