Sarah's family asks the authorities to apply preventive measures against sepsis and provide information

Sarah, at a recent fundraising event.
Sarah, at a recent fundraising event. / S.A.
  • "My commitment is to get the health authorities to take firm action to make sure cases like that of my daughter do not happen again", said Sarah's father in a letter to the Andalusian Health Service

In nearly every conversation he brings up the promise he made to his daughter Sarah when she was in hospital, suffering the serious consequences of sepsis which affected her without warning and resulted in her losing her hands and feet. "I will do absolutely everything possible to make sure your life will be as the same as it was before," he told her.

Ismael Almagro, Sarah's father, has stressed that this promise was not just about obtaining the money necessary to buy the best prostheses available anywhere.

"It also means doing everything possible to make sure cases like this do not happen again, and for people to know about the dangers of sepsis," he said.

Sarah's family is working hard to honour that commitment. They have contacted the health authorities with the aim of making them "realise the true extent of this illness and take measures to reduce it". This, they say, includes vaccinating against it.

The latest letter, after one a few days ago to the regional government's Health Department, has just been sent to the managing director of the Andalusian Health Service, Francisca Antón, in which Ismael Almagro described his daughter's case and the consequences she has suffered from serogroup Y meningococcal septicaemia last July.

"I had no idea this illness was so prevalent in today's society, maybe because the health authorities haven't provided any information about it. We thought it was dormant, but here it is, going strong among us, like tuberculosis," said Ismael.

He said the number of sepsis cases in Spain has been increasing, especially on the Costa del Sol. He also wonders whether the health authorities have kept that information quiet and failed to apply enough preventive measures.

For that reason, he is demanding a series of data from the Andalusian Health Service including the number of cases of meningitis, broken down by serogroup, in Malaga province during the period between 2015 and 2018; the number of deaths from these cases; the cases of meningococcal septicaemia from all serogroups; and the number of cases of tuberculosis. All in Malaga province, during the same period of time.

"I'm basing my request on general and social interest, not for personal information, in order to be sure that preventive measures have been correctly applied for public use. I believe information about all cases registered in every single hospital and health centre in the province should be collected, together with reports issued during the period 2015 to 2018 by the relevant departments of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine in those centres," he said.

"For anyone affected, a great many things change"

In the letter, Ismael, who is making this the first step in his campaign, says to Francisca Antón: "I'm sure that for you, one case more or one case less probably doesn't change the statistics very much, but I can assure you that for anyone affected, a great many things change.

"I am convinced that if this illness personally affected somebody with the power to make decisions, they would take firm action in response. And this, Señora Antón, is going to be my commitment: to ensure that the health authorities take firm action to make sure cases like that of my daughter Sarah do not happen again. And if they do, that the same health authorities resolve the problem properly by making sure anyone affected can live a totally normal life afterwards."