It's About TIME For Sepsis Awareness w/ Katy Grainger

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

CORRECTION: Katy misspoke, and wanted to make sure everyone understands that you should be concerned and seek medical attention if you have a heart rate over 90-100 beats per minute or a breathing rate over 20 breaths per minute. This is an indicator that your heart and lungs are struggling because your blood oxygen levels are low.

Imagine you notice a small, purplish bump on your thumb. Seems like no big deal but, just in case, you go to an urgent care clinic to get it checked out. They give you some ointment, and some antibiotics, and send you home. Thirty-six hours later, your body, and your life, are completely unrecognizable. Today’s guest, Katy Grainger barely survived her horrifying brush with sepsis, and wants to make sure everyone out there knows the signs and symptoms to look for. It could save the life and/or limbs of someone you love! For more information, visit

Highlight Reel:

3:00 The mysterious purple bump

4:20 Temperature

5:00 Infection

5:30 Memory/Mental decline

9:00 Extremely ill

11:00 Septic shock

12:30 Unrecognizable

15:00 Saved life, lost limbs

25:30 The power of sharing her story

30:20 Rainbow light and an ideal world

35:00 Sepsis alliance:

Adrienne MacIain 0:01 Hey everyone, welcome to the That's Aloud podcast. I'm your hostess Dr. Adrienne MacIain. And today we have Katy Granger, Katy, please introduce yourself.

Katy Grainger 0:11 Hi, my name is Katy Granger and I currently live in Seattle, Washington. A few years ago, I moved to Hawaii with my kids. Actually, I guess it was about 12 or 13 years ago, when my children were in fifth and seventh grade. I have two daughters, we moved with our family to Hawaii for a one year sabbatical and ended up staying 10 years. And there's some things that go on that we're going to talk about, about why we moved back from Hawaii, not the happiest story, but it was a very life-changing event for me and my family. Adrienne MacIain 0:43 It was a transformational journey, which is what we're all about here, right? Katy Grainger 0:47 Absolutely. Adrienne MacIain 0:48 So my first question is just: what story is the world not getting? Katy Grainger 0:54 I love this question. I actually took part in a world forum last night with people from all over the world, talking about this very message. And the message that the world is not getting is that 20% of the people worldwide are dying from sepsis, yet very few people can identify what sepsis is, and even fewer can identify what the signs and symptoms of sepsis are. And yet we lose 270,000 people every year in the United States from sepsis, we lose people every 2.8 minutes worldwide from sepsis. It is a medical emergency, it is a crisis. And people do not know enough about it. And that is of course what impacted my life. So I want to spread awareness and help get the message out there through my story.

Adrienne MacIain 1:39 Absolutely. And we will get into your story in one moment. But I just want to say I know I don't know much about sepsis, and we've already talked. And I still feel like I don't know that much about it. And so I definitely want to get into the specifics of how to recognize it. But let's first dive into your story. Katy Grainger 2:00 Okay. So as I mentioned, I was living in Hawaii with my family, we lived on the island of Hawaii, which is one of the larger outer islands. But just quick geography lesson Honolulu, which is the place that most of us have heard of, that is the largest city in Hawaii, it's significantly larger than any other city. In fact, there's more people in Honolulu than most of the other islands. So it's relevant to my story, because I'm going to end up in the hospital there. But I was on the island of Hawaii. I was home alone for a weekend, because my husband was on a fishing trip, and my children were away at college. And we had at that point been living in Hawaii, I think for just about 10 years, and that we had made our home there and we were very happy there. We were in a remote community called Hanalei, which a lot of people have heard of, it's very jungley, it rains a lot there. And we had actually had a significant amount of rain over the last few months before I became sick, which is what's about to happen in this story.

Adrienne MacIain 2:56 Spoiler alert! Katy Grainger 2:59 Just giving you ideas, so I was home alone, I had just come from the mainland, visiting my family, my children. And like I say, my husband had gone on this big fishing trip that was long planned to Wyoming. So he was on a remote river out in the middle of nowhere. And I got off the airplane and I noticed a small purple bump on my thumb. And it looked a little bit different. And because of all the rain we've been having, we've been having flooding in our Valley quite a bit. Over the prior months, people were kind of aware, you know, hey, be careful of your infections, you don't want to get sepsis. I mean, people actually kind of throw the word around, or they know that they can get really sick from an infection. So I was... that was on my radar. And I saw this bump, it was a different color. It was oozing a little bit of fluid, it was just different enough that I decided to go to an emergency clinic on the way home, just to be sure that I was fine. And this was on a Friday night, and I was fine. I had absolutely normal blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, everything, all my vital signs were solid. But I did have this unusual infection. So they gave me an ointment to treat it. And then they told me if it got worse over the weekend, if it expanded in size, or I noticed any changes, I should start taking the antibiotics. So I went home Friday night. I was really tired. And I'm going to mention a few of the mistakes I made, a few of the signs of sepsis, I'm going to kind of go into. With sepsis Alliance, that I'm now a member of that organization, I'm on the board of directors, we talk about the acronym time T.I.M.E., so I'm just going to go in order. T is for temperature. I believed that by taking my temperature all weekend, I could make sure that if I was getting an infection, I would catch it because of my temperature. Right? Well, it turns out that you do not need to have a fever with sepsis and with other serious conditions. So sometimes a fever is not the best indicator of you being very sick. And in my case, it was not, but I had no idea about that. I think this is another message the world needs to understand. As moms, I mean, you don't send your kid to school if they have a fever, but if they don't have a fever and they're complaining about being sick, they got to go to school, you know, and and either A. they're faking, or B. they're just not very sick. And that's just what I had had believed. And it was very much not a truth. And it cost me dearly, which you're about to hear. So then, so we use the moniker TIME, T-I-M-E is temperature, infection-- sepsis always takes the place with an infection in your body. M is for memory decline, which is one of the really clear symptoms if you feel like you have the flu, but you're, you're you're acting a little bit drunk or disoriented or like you have Alzheimers, you're forgetting things, that's a good sign of mental decline. But I was alone. And so it's hard to tell. And then E is for extremely ill, it always ends with a person finally looking at someone they're with or calling somebody and saying, I'm gonna die or I have never been so sick. And that's a very serious sign. And if anyone ever says that they need to get to the hospital, better safe than sorry. And people know, eventually, I mean, you can deny things for a while, and then eventually, it becomes very clear that you're very sick. So this is kind of the arc that my story took. My temperature I mentioned, I didn't have one, and I was mistaken about whether--because with temperature, it can be high or low. But you want to check it, and if you have a high temperature, that's a very clear indicator. But not having a fever doesn't mean you rule it out. Infection, I just want to touch on briefly, I had this small infection of my thumb that if you saw it, it was just a small, tiny bump, you would never think it would have caused me to become deathly ill, but it did. And one thing to keep in mind is that we can have an infection in our body and not know it. It's not uncommon, a little tiny bit of a bladder infection that's brewing that you don't really feel but it's starting to impact your kidneys, which you're not aware of, or strep throat that's just starting, but it just doesn't seem as bad as the last time, so maybe you don't think it's strep? Pneumonia is a common one. But any skin infection, a spider bite, things like that can can cause it. And then I mentioned Mental decline. I was alone. So I didn't notice. But I had a couple friends and family members trying to call me that day to check in. And I kept texting them back said hey, I'm not feeling great. I'm just hanging low. I made it-- I just wrote it off, I made it very sound very subtle, and like I was fine. But I look back at that now, and I think hmm, you know, I was probably not feeling well enough to take a call. So I was diverting them to my text messages. And so they didn't get a chance to talk to me and maybe hear that I was a little bit confused or something. So I kind of pushed people away. And then after 36 hours of being at home, I went from Friday night to Sunday morning. As soon as the sun started coming up, I called a friend-- excuse me, I texted a friend and said, "Can you please take me to the hospital?" And she texted me back and said, "Absolutely. I'm coming right down. But can we just go to the emergency clinic?" It's much closer, the emergency clinic's 15 minutes away, the hospital's an hour away because we're fairly remote. And I texted her back and said, "No, I have to go to the hospital. I have never been so sick." And I look back at that. And that was very dramatic for me to make a statement like that. One thing that I kind of keep alluding to, I don't have memories of the weekend. I don't remember anything really past Friday night. So whether that's because of how sick I was over the weekend, or it could also be drugs that came into my body later that kind of and I could be blocking it. I don't know. That's a question for my therapist. For whatever reason, I have no memories, very few memories. I don't remember texting my friend. But I do remember her getting there and freaking out and saying, "Oh my god, oh my god, Katy, Oh, my God." And I remember thinking as I was laying in my bed, I remember thinking, I must really be sick, I'm glad and called her. And that was about all I could muster. And she was having a hard time waking me up. I wasn't fully clothed. She was kind of wrapping clothes around me. And she she said to me at the time, "Let's call an ambulance. I'm really worried about you." And I just said no, no, no, I'm not that sick. And I don't want to wake up the neighbors and I don't want to scare them. And what if they call my husband and he gets scared, and so I just said, "Can you please just take me?" And in my situation, it actually was going to take about 15 or 20 minutes for an ambulance to get to me because of how remote we were, I know where the ambulances are kept. And she actually called her boyfriend who was a firefighter. And he said, just start driving her and if you encounter traffic or something call for an ambulance. But if you can keep going, it may be quicker. So she did that. On the way to the hospital, I started crying in the car, which again is very unusual with a friend to cry in the backseat of her car and beg her to drive faster. I told her my hands and feet were on fire. And this was shocking to her, and she immediately called the hospital and said "Look, we're 15 minutes out. I have encountered a little bit of traffic." It was a Sunday, church had led out and there was a little bit of traffic on the main road. And she just said "I'm coming in, I need you to meet me. I don't think she can sit up and we need a gurney and you've got to get to her immediately because something's really wrong." And so they met us at the hospital. They took me straight into the emergency department. They took my vital signs and they determined that my blood pressure was 50 over 30, which is deathly low, and so they immediately, I think at that point, they took me into the ICU and started, they actually had what is called a sepsis protocol. They actually at that time to themselves, I think that, and I'm basing this on my medical chart, but it's a smaller hospital that they knew to look for, they knew that something was more serious because of my hands and feet hurting. And so they, I believe that they immediately started looking for sepsis, they withdrew blood to check for a pathogen or whatever was making me sick so that they could target an antibiotic to me. And they did that before they started antibiotics in my body. They gave me fluids to try to increase my blood pressure. And if after giving me this huge amount of fluids, it actually was enough fluid that I weighed as much as when I was pregnant with my daughters. So it was like 25 pounds of fluid in my body, and I only weigh 110 pounds, I'm a very small woman. So it was significant. And even with that fluid, they couldn't keep my blood pressure stable over the next 24 hours. And I was having difficulty breathing. So they put a cannula in my nose, and then eventually that was switched out to a pressurized mask. And then I quit having urinary output, which meant that my kidneys were failing. So at this point, they knew that I was in very serious condition they had at this point, determined that I was in septic shock, which is the third and most dangerous phase of sepsis. And my life was on the line. So they knew that they needed to transfer me over to Honolulu, which I mentioned earlier, to the big city with the big hospital. And so on Monday morning, 24 hours late--Oh wait, I forgot an important part! On Sunday night, my hands began right here at this part of my hand--and you can see I lost some fingers--at this part of my hand here, I started turning purple, and my feet started turning purple. And I was diagnosed with a condition called disseminated intravascular coagulation or DIC for short. And what it meant is that I was having blood clots in my extremities and my my blood vessels in my hands and feet were bursting. And it had a potential to make a possibility that I would lose my limbs. Another thing about sepsis that's very scary is when it gets to the phase that I was at, they needed to give me a medication called the presser that would push the blood out of my extremities and push it toward my core because they needed to save my organs. The biggest cause of death is multiple organ failure. And I already had two organs failing. So they were really trying. They transferred me to Oahu. My husband met me there, it was 24 hours later, he had had time to get out of the remote area where he was, he drove all night, got to a city, you know, took a plane, it was crazy, but he got there right before I did. And when he saw me coming on the gurney, I was unrecognizable, because I had all that fluid in my body and I was intubated, they had put a tube down my throat to breathe for me. And I was on a mechanical breathing device. And I had drugs in my body that were paralyzing me to keep me from pulling the tube out. So I was, I mean, he had left me perfectly healthy and fine. And then he came back to this.

And he was told at that time that I was in serious condition that he should sit down, that I was not stable. And when the doctor came out, he told him that he should call my children, and they should come and be with me. So the clear indicator to him that was unspoken, but very well understood is that I might die. And he was just shocked and terrified. And my children flew over from California, they had to catch a plane like the next morning or that night. I'm not even sure what the timing was. And they came to be with me. In the week that I was in the ICU, they watched my hands turn from slightly purple, to purple and black. And it really appeared that I would lose my hands and feet. And my husband was warned that that was a very potential outcome if I survived, and my family began preparing themselves for that possibility. And then, after five days in the ICU, they removed the breathing tube from my throat, I was able to breathe on my own, but it was very difficult. And I spent two days trying to clear my lungs. I had fluid in my lungs, and trying to breathe fully enough to oxygenate my body, and my husband actually around the clock for about two days was waking me up and doing breathing exercises every time he would see my oxygen levels go down on the machines. So I really credit him with being... you know, the nursing staff does all they can, but they can't be with everybody all the time. And I'm just gonna draw a comparison to COVID right now, which honestly, long COVID, the symptoms are very similar to what I just described. So I'm, as I'm reading these stories, I'm kind of reliving this event over and over. But with the long COVID patients, many of them are in the hospital alone, and I have no question that more people died because of that. So that's just kind of a side note that's very relevant to the times right now. But with my story, we, for three weeks--I'm getting near the end--but three weeks, we did treatments on my hands and feet with nitroglycerin cream to try and oxygenate those areas. It was very painful. And then every day I went into a hyperbaric chamber where I received pressurized oxygen on my body. I can't remember, I think it's like 300 times the normal level of oxygen and we were trying to just do anything we could to get oxygen out to my extremities. So as I showed you before my hands were saved. And this is a miracle that I have as much of my hands as I do. They function very well. I've chosen not to use prosthetics. I've tried them, they don't work well. But the saddest part for me is that I lost both of my lower legs. So I am now a double below-knee amputee. And I wear prosthetics. And I, we chose to leave Honolulu to return to Seattle where we had lived before, we had a much bigger community to support us there with friends and family. We had a home that we could stay at. We were in Honolulu, that's not a city we lived in. We were borrowing a friend's apartment, and we didn't know anybody there, it was not a place where I could get better well. We, my family and I, we all wanted me surrounded by people who loved and supported me, because we knew we were going to need a lot of help. So we went back to Seattle. We also went for the obvious reason, which is that they also, because they're such a large metropolitan area, they have fabulous medical care. And they had a program for amputees and for people who have been through what I had been through, that would take me not only through the surgeries, but also through the recovery process. So we went there for that. And we've lived there for the last couple years. So I now have prosthetic legs. I walk well, I drive, I'm able to do some activities. And then there's still some I can't do. But I try to focus on what I can. I have to admit right now I'm at a little transitionary period, where I'm outgrowing the legs I have that have taught me to walk so well. I want to run, I want to climb! I want to do things I've never done before. Like all of a sudden, I have this need to rock climb, you know, which I've done twice in my life. And I'm like, I just want to go to REI and climb that rock wall again, you know, with ropes on, and I just want to be able to use my body more I was very active before I want to be that active again. And honestly, two years ago, I didn't envision that I would ever be at a place that I would be saying, I need more: I want to run, I want to swim, I want to wakeboard, you know, and it's so... I feel very empowered right now. But I'm also feeling a bit of helplessness right now.

Adrienne MacIain 16:57 Wow. So much there. I'd love to talk a little bit more about, let's go back to just how fast this all happened. Katy Grainger 17:07 Yes. That's why sepsis Alliance uses the word TIME, they've tried to make it very simple. And they've they want to stress that time is of the utmost importance with sepsis. And as you noticed, Friday night, I went to a medical community, they checked me out, I did not have symptoms of sepsis. 36 hours later, it was too late, I almost died and I lost limbs because of it, you know, had I been able to catch it sooner had the medical place that I visited the first time. And they maybe handed me a flyer that said, you really need to watch for this, this is what you're looking for, you know, had there been had it been more in the forefront, we might have been able to make a difference. And that's what I'm really fighting for now.

I'm now on the board of sepsis Alliance, and I help share my story to spread awareness both to people who've never heard of it to help support families and people who have suffered from it to let them know there's other people out there. And we're working hard to provide resources. And then also to work with the medical community, to help them look at ways that they can maybe change the way they handle this, but we need to make it as common, more people die from sepsis than most cancers. More people die from sepsis. Not this year, I think more in our country have died this year from COVID, but I mean, it's a very similar thing, and it's happening every single year, and it's been happening for many years, and it's getting worse worldwide. So we really need to get on top of it. We really need to make some changes. Adrienne MacIain 18:36 What do you think are the changes that need to be made?

Katy Grainger 18:38 Oh, gosh, there's so many, I mean, we need to change the way that hospitals handle it. We need to we need to make sure that when a person comes in that people are looking at sepsis as a possibility from the very beginning. And they're trying, they're imagining that okay, well, let's look at sepsis, and let's make sure this person doesn't have it. One of the things that they need to do is because time is of the essence: every hour that a person waits, they have an 8% higher chance of dying.

And remember I called the hospital first thing in the morning, literally at sunrise, I think I was probably sick in bed, lying there thinking I don't want to call her when it's dark. That's so dramatic. You know, I'm sure I was making excuses. And I waited for it to get light. I don't think it was an accident that it was just getting light. It was still ridiculously early to be bothering somebody. So theoretically, I mean, I probably had it all night long. And every hour that was going away, I had an 8% higher chance of dying. At one point they said I had about a 2% chance of living. They said I was the sickest person in their hospital, a level-one trauma center, the level-one trauma center that serves the state. So theoretically, at that moment, I was the sickest person in the state. And that happens, and it happens every single day. And there are many people with my story. So change the way that hospitals look at it. Many hospitals have a protocol but many don't. Change the things that we do with insurance, how we cover it because there are medications that are very expensive that they don't want to go to unless you've jumped through a lot of hoops. And most people don't have access to them. I don't even think they were used on me. And it's something I've just learned about, you know, there's lots of things. Spreading awareness. My biggest thing, I want everyone that I know, everyone that hears me, everyone that sees this podcast or listens to it, or knows you, I want everyone to know what the signs and symptoms are.

And you know about TIME, but I also want them to include, because of COVID, I think we can include this, now people are more aware of their health, check your breathing rate, if your breathing rate is over 100 breaths per minute, your body is struggling, you need to get to a doctor, whether it's because of COVID, whether it's because of sepsis, whether it's because of pneumonia, it doesn't matter, that is a very serious medical condition, you need to get to a hospital, and then they can determine it. The other thing is, if your heart rate is over 20 beats per minute, it's the same indicator, and it can be one or the other, or both. [NOTE: Katy got these backward: you should be concerned and seek medical attention if you have a heart rate over 90-100 beats per minute or a breathing rate over 20 breaths per minute.] You're not getting enough oxygen, your body is struggling and fighting, and you need to get to a hospital for help. So those are things that I want people to understand. And and I just want it you know, with the people, all the people I'm working with, and even people like you and my friends, I have friends call me and say, "Hey, you know, I have a friend that got really sick. Can you remind me again, what the symptoms of sepsis are? Could you send me some information? Or would you talk to him or his family?" And I've done that many times, and I've had friends that have said, "Oh, I had a friend that was sick. And I told them to make sure when they went to the hospital, this is a big one, say to the hospital, 'I'm concerned about sepsis. I heard about this lady who lost her legs, I don't want to be like her.'" And so it's just a matter of getting the word out there and making some changes. And then we're also working with government to try and change some of the policies. And that's important as well. Adrienne MacIain 21:38 Yeah, definitely. I would also say, I think it's really important for everyone who's listening to recognize that there was that moment where you knew that you were sick, you knew that something was wrong, but you downplayed it, you texted people instead of talking to them, you know, you you pushed back on it. I think we do that so much, we have this weird--and part of it is just the culture of the United States, and that insurance is tricky. Some people don't have it, or don't have good enough insurance. Katy Grainger 22:10 Right, and even, like, calling an ambulance. I mean, I remember I said to my friend that you know, an ambulance is very expensive. And it's not something I really needed to worry about, it would have been okay for me if the ambulance was expensive. But I think more than that, I was really concerned that my neighbors would wake up and text my husband and he'd be freaked out, you know. And so I was like, I just wasn't and I wasn't thinking clearly which we didn't realize, I wasn't thinking clearly and the reason for all of that is because you have an inflammation response. So everything swells up, including your brain, and your brain starts getting pressure and you literally can't think clearly so and it starts damaging your other organs. I thought of one other thing too, and we're working on this with sepsis Alliance, is that we need to get better data. Because right now when a person passes away, say that a person dies from COVID, it goes on their death certificate as COVID. And you've seen the numbers, you see that X number of people have died from COVID. What you don't see is that of those people, a certain percentage be it 20, or 40, or 60%, died from sepsis because of COVID. And that is very common, you die from sepsis, because of pneumonia, you die from sepsis because of kidney disease or kidney failure. And oftentimes that's with some underlying illness that was caused by an infection. So we don't have that data because sepsis is not named on death certificates. So we're trying to put together a national database to gather this information. And it's just incredible.

And one of the things that's gotten me through this as being a part of all of this, and being able to use my story. And I know not everyone gets to do that. And and there are a lot of people out there that just need to know that there's other people out there who are suffering with them. And we care and we're fighting and we're, we're out here and we can talk to you about it. And we can share your story so that they know that they're not alone. Because I know in the beginning, I didn't know anyone who had an amputation, I felt very, I just entered this world I had never even known anything about and it was just horrifying for me and my family. And so to be able to have resources online was very helpful to be able to go find some celebrities that had lost their legs are people who are out there in the public. That kind of stuff really made a difference for me.

Adrienne MacIain 24:17 Yeah, finding your tribe. Katy Grainger 24:18 Yes. And I have a whole tribe and I have two new tribes. I have a sepsis survivor tribe, and I have an amputee tribe and, and they overlap some but there is this whole new world that I'm in and it's it's I think we you know, we're really amazing. There's a really amazing group of people out here that I think are really going to make change because we're going to bring this into the forefront. We're going to get it out there people are going to start knowing about sepsis. Adrienne MacIain 24:43 So how has this experience changed you? Katy Grainger 24:47 So many ways, countless ways. For one thing I was a stay at home mom, I was kind of, we considered ourselves kind of semi-retired, my husband was able to work from Hawaii and run his business in Seattle. And we were able to sort of work from afar, I was not in the workplace at the time, I was getting ready to, you know, I mean, my kids had been away at college for two years, my youngest had. And so I'd already been kind of trying out my new life as a stay at home mom, one thing that's interesting, I was really looking for a purpose. I thought, well, now that I have this time, my kids are gone, I'm kind of a retired Mom, you know, what am I going to do with myself? And I kept waiting for an opportunity. And it's funny how the universe sometimes gives you what you don't want. But now they've given me this opportunity to be an advocate for amputees and for sepsis survivors. And it's not what I wanted. But it's been an amazing answer to all this. So the biggest way that has changed is I now am, I focus on this all the time, I share my story a lot. And I would have never thought in a million years that something that horrible would happen to me. And then I would stay in that moment, and I would share it. But it's, I believe it's so meaningful and so powerful that I just need to keep doing it. And even though it's hard, and I know I sometimes come across kind of positive about the whole thing. Because I do try and focus on that. It was awful. It was life changing. It was shattering. It was horrible. I mean, it was, you know, every word you can imagine, I went through all of that, all of the horror of it. And I spent three weeks denying that I was going to lose my feet, even though every time the doctors looked at them, they said the soles of my feet were black. But I looked at them, and I saw them as being purple, and so I thought there was hope. But I knew that I couldn't rebuild a foot without my soles. But it took me three, four weeks before I could even allow myself to say it. And then I couldn't even say the word amputation. We just said surgery, I'll have the surgery, we'll have that surgery. And my family followed my lead. My husband was very protective of me and my children were and they made sure that anyone who visited they're like, you don't tell her anything. She will tell you what she knows or what she thinks, you know, and this is where she's at today, right now, she doesn't know she's gonna lose her feet. So you're not talking about it. And if she says that, you're not even going to confirm it, you know, so they were really protective. And they really waited for me to come to it. On my time. Adrienne MacIain 27:00 It seems like you have a really powerful support system. Katy Grainger 27:04 I have an amazing support system. And even like moving back to Seattle, it was a community that I hadn't been in 10 years. We these were in this community. I mean, I wouldn't say probably 150 people came out, they brought me food for months, because I couldn't cook I couldn't do anything. They we got on a food train thing that literally for like six months, I think they were making meals for my family. And we had them do it every other day or every third day. Because we knew we had to cook a meal for six people because we often had people over and then we could make it last but um, so but they kept it rolling for as long as we needed. They they helped set up a house for me. They we had an empty house available and they put furnishings in it. I mean, we borrowed furniture from like eight different friends that fully I mean, I moved back to this house, it looked like the house I had left when it was fully furnished. And it was just amazing. I mean, people reached out in such an incredible way. And they just wrapped me up in there. My whole family, they just wrapped us up. And they carried us when we could not carry ourselves. You know, by the time we moved back, my children were exhausted, my husband was exhausted, I was exhausted. And we were just getting to the worst part of it, where I was about to have these surgeries. So my community has been really amazing. And I know not everyone has that. So I really encourage people to find that in their world and in their lives. And for some people, like my mom is his, she lives in a retirement home. And she's by herself. You know, she has a couple friends, but she doesn't see a lot of people. But she gets out during the day and she maybe tries to go go somewhere. And you know, she picks up her prescriptions. And she says hi to the pharmacist and you know, you kind of make friends where you can find them. And not that contact with other human beings is really powerful. Even in those little moments with people you don't know well, it can really make a difference. Adrienne MacIain 28:46 Yeah. Well, you just never know. I mean, that's such a powerful message that I get from this story: you really just never know what's going to happen. And having that kind of support. I mean, I think part of it is just the collateral beauty of recognizing that you had this amazing support system. You don't really know what you have until you need it.

Katy Grainger 29:07 Yeah, I had, I had no idea. And honestly, it was when we moved back. I mean, I was scared because I was leaving the people I've been with my friends for the last 10 years, you know, and I knew that I had six or eight really great friends there. I mean, I have some best friends in Seattle. There was no question about that. But it was I mean, first of all, they came in a way that I could have never imagined. And then the people beyond that group came in a way that I could have never imagined people I hadn't seen in 10 years who our kids went to fourth grade together. And we were room moms together, whatever. They were making me meals, they were bringing food to the house, they were calling me and checking in. And I mean it was just, yeah, it was amazing. I was so blessed and I just I can't believe the way that people reached out. It really gave me also it really made me realize when other people are down I need to make that effort as well because it's just so meaningful. And we don't always know how to do it but just find something, find anything and do it. It makes such a difference. Adrienne MacIain 30:00 Absolutely, well, I'm going to transition here we're going to take a little deep breath together. Beautiful, I'm gonna give you Okay, I'm gonna have you close your eyes. And when you breathe in this time, I want you to breathe in colored light. Just tell me what color the light was. Katy Grainger 30:26 It was a rainbow. Adrienne MacIain 30:27 Oh, I love that, mine is always a rainbow. Okay, one more time, nice rainbow in. Beautiful and keep your eyes closed for a moment, I'm going to wave my magic wand. And everything you deeply desire has now come to pass. Or in this moment in your ideal world, and I want you to just tell me what you see and what you feel here. Katy Grainger 30:59 Personally, I feel very comfortable with where I am, I feel comfortable being an amputee, I feel comfortable being a sepsis survivor and and knowing that my identity has changed with all of that my family is still surrounding me. And they're so important. They are my everything. And my my close friends as well. And then on a more global scale. People know about sepsis, they can find it, they understand it, it's as common a word that's thrown around as the word stroke or cancer or heart attack, they understand the signs and symptoms they know to how to identify it when it's happening. We'll take it one step further, everyone knows how to identify when it's happening in a baby, when it's happening in a pregnant woman, when it's happening in a child, or an adult, which are all slightly different. They can identify all of those, they seek help more frequently, they're not, they don't feel afraid that they're going to get a huge bill, or they're going to be they're going to be kind of left hanging, or they're going to be turned away, because a doctor is going to say, oh, you're not very sick, why did you come in with that, you know, right, they're going to have confidence that they can just go into either their doctor or a walk in clinic or even an emergency room, and they will be seen in their symptoms will be taken very seriously. So it will change that and that there is more equity among people, more people who have less are dying much at a much higher frequency. And people of color are dying at a much higher frequency. That will all change. And globally, we will know this and so there'll be this big shift where sepsis becomes known and it gets its place that is it. Unfortunately, it deserves, as something that kills 20% of the world's population, it deserves to be known. It deserves to be called by name, it deserves to be understood and every person out there deserves to be safe from it. They deserve to know how to recognize it and stop it before they become an amputee. And I don't have regrets. I don't look back and say "Oh, I wish I would have..." I just don't bother, that's not a thing I've ever done. I can't change that. But I can change it for people. And I do believe as we do studies every year, a few more people understand the symptoms, a few more people recognize the word, but we need to make that happen quicker, it needs to come about sooner. Adrienne MacIain 33:17 Okay, so I want you to close your eyes, I'm going to get you out of your head and into your heart space here, okay? We're there. We're there, we're in that world, okay? And you are at the top of a mountain that you just climbed up the side of. And I want you to just feel that, and look down at where you've been, and realize you pulled yourself up this mountain. And just tell me what this view looks like up here. Katy Grainger 33:47 First of all, I'm not alone. surrounding me, I have my family and my friends. But I also have all the other people who are as passionate as I am about this. And the people globally who are fighting for sepsis awareness and trying to get the word out and we're up on that mountain together and we are celebrating and I just... My heart is full and I just feel I feel like I've met my life's purpose. I feel like I have accomplished this just incredible goal. I feel very whole. And it feels amazing. I love this place. I'd like to stay here.

Adrienne MacIain 34:22 Beautiful. Alright, well, Where can the folks at home find you and learn more about sepsis? Katy Grainger 34:29 I know I need to get a little bit. Okay, so first of all on YouTube. I have a video out there that I did for a medical group of people. So it's a little bit more medical, but I think people sometimes find that interesting Actually, I know they do because it's it's on YouTube. If you look up my name, Katy Grainger, and add the word sepsis, it will pull up a couple videos on YouTube and I think that's a really good place to start. It will tell my story in a little more detail. And it I think it's important to understand some of the medical things, I think it's important to understand when your vital signs are off what it means. So listen to it, and try and learn from it. And then sepsis Alliance can be reached at And they have a tremendous amount of information about sepsis. And also, not just me, but amputee coalition is another organization that you can look up online and find out information about being an amputee, and I don't have a public profile on Facebook or Instagram yet. I'm working toward that. You're gonna help me with that. We are working toward that. I'm not there yet. But I really recommend that YouTube would be the best place. You could also look online, if you want to look up a couple articles about me. There was one in, which is the today's shows webpage. And then also at women's that just came out, you could probably look up my name or "sepsis survivor." Even if you're not finding my article, you'll be finding another article that would be interesting to see how it may be how it impacts other people. Adrienne MacIain 36:02 Absolutely. Thank you so much for being here, Katy. Katy Grainger 36:05 Thank you. Thank you. This has been wonderful, and I'm gonna keep this place in my heart today. Adrienne MacIain 36:09 Beautiful.

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