I died seven times after horror football injury during Sunday league match’
A dad who had to have his leg amputated after contracting sepsis following a football injury flat lined in front of his family.
Dave Cram was a “fit and healthy” delivery driver before his injury during a Sunday League match for Blackpool’s Saddle Inn.
The 41-year-old suffered a groin strain on January 5, 2020, before contracting flu-like symptoms, Lancs Live reported.
His leg began to swell and he was rushed to hospital, where he was diagnosed with sepsis and placed into a coma.
After making the decision to have his leg amputated on the day he turned 40, Dave’s family gathered round his hospital bed and sang him happy birthday.
Following the operation he went into cardiac arrest in front of his family and had to be resuscitated seven times.
Speaking about how he felt before the amputation, Dace said: “On a scale of one to 10, with 10 being the highest, I’d say my pain was at 50.
“I was rushed into A&E, where I remained for seven hours.
“I was grey, I couldn’t wee, and locked myself in a cubicle in such a confused state.
“When I came out of the cubical, an intensive care doctor spotted me and immediately put me on a trolley.
“He rushed me through a fire exit door and told my wife that I was dying.”
When Dave went into hospital following the injury doctors told him he was suffering from a “necrotising fasciitis infection” in his left thigh.
He was rushed into surgery where medics discovered that his kidneys were failing and his liver was showing signs of damage, before his heart rate dropped to a dangerously low level.
On the dad’s 40th birthday – January 16, 2020 – his family had to make the decision to amputate his leg.
They were warned that he might not survive the operation.
While he lay in a coma his family gathered around his bed to sing him happy birthday.
Dave survived the operation but went into cardiac arrest multiple times.
He said: “It’s been a while but I feel I am already to share this story after the year that I have had.
“I lost my leg through sepsis after playing football.
“They did try and save the leg but it was killing me.
“When they did take it off and I woke up after the coma, I just flatlined in front of my whole family – my mum, my wife, everyone. Just died in front of them.
“I was resuscitated seven times in total and suffered multiple cardiac arrests, but I refused to give up.
“When I woke up from the coma, the first person I saw was my brother Lee, and I thought to myself ‘things must be bad if he’s here’ Then I looked around – my wife, my mum, my dad…everyone was there too.”
After his surgery, Dave began to show signs of recovery, only for his weight to plummet to just seven stone, leaving him unable to breathe unaided.
Then as he was being moved in bed his bowel split and he was rushed to hospital in Preston to receive emergency micro-surgery.
He had multiple blood transfusions, and then developed pneumonia.
But the turning point in Dave’s recovery took place in the high dependency ward, where he began his rehab and started to walk with a zimmer frame.
The dad told how he also witnessed others with sepsis die around him – bringing it home just how close he had come to losing his life.
But despite his horrific ordeal, Dave is determined to get back to work and live his life.
He said: “I have had to get used to being an amputee now, after living such a fulfilling life.
“The mental health side of things is one of the hardest things.
“If something like that happens, you must reach out; luckily I have a great support group.”
But he admits that his recovery has been made all the more difficult by the coronavirus pandemic.
Dave said: “A big one is not being able to see my family.
“You can’t hug your family, can’t see your family. I think cos what is going on at the moment, it’s pretty hard.
Dave is now learning to walk using his prosthetic leg, and says things are going well, but admits he faces challenges daily.
After hearing his story, Bambers Remedial Contractors, of Blackpool, said that they had donated and installed a wet room for Dave.
While he’s also had support and good wishes from celebrities including Frank Lampard, Dion Dublin and Frank Sinclair.
Singer Olly Murs donated and sent his best wishes.
Bxer Tyson Fury, who lives in Morecambe, also donated some signed gloves.
Speaking as part of UK Sepsis Trusts’ campaign to raise awareness, Dave said: “I still have so many questions like – why did I play football that day?, why didn’t I go straight to A&E?’, why did this happen to me?’.
“But the biggest one for me is why didn’t I ask if it could be sepsis?”