A RUGBY player from Worcester is taking on a work experience placement at the same intensive care unit that saved her life.

Jemima Moss, 17, who plays for Worcester Warriors Women, was rushed to A&E at Worcestershire Royal Hospital with sepsis last summer while waiting for her GCSE results.

When Jemima first became ill, she thought she had the flu, but after collapsing, it was realised that something bigger had happened to her.

While in A&E, Jemima’s heart-rate and white blood cell count were dangerously high, despite doctors initially thinking she had a burst appendix.

After confirmatory scans and exploratory keyhole surgery, she was diagnosed with sepsis.

She then spent a week in intensive care, during which time it was feared she might die, but she managed to survive and, a week later, was taken off life support on GCSE results day.

She said: “As I became more conscious, I managed to open the results envelope my sister and best friend had picked up earlier that morning, and I remember being totally delighted with my results.

“I realise that I’m incredibly lucky to have survived sepsis. I am truly thankful to the A&E, ICU and Paediatrics teams and the many other brilliant staff in the hospital for the care they gave me and for saving my life.”

After a week in intensive care, she was finally given the tentative all clear and was transferred to Riverbank Ward where she spent another seven days and was visited by friends, family and Worcester Warriors and England hooker, Lark Davies.

The infection very nearly cost Jemima her life, but now she’s back to her full strength and playing again for the Warriors’ development team.

Since her ordeal, Jemima has decided to carry out a week long work experience placement, shadowing the very doctors and nurses that saved her life.

She is even considering a career in medicine once she finishes her A-levels next year.

She added: “I am also incredibly grateful for the support from the Worcester Warriors team for helping me get back to my previous strength and fitness.

“Six months after I became ill, I was back playing rugby again.”

Now, Jemima and her Worcester Warriors side have teamed up with The UK Sepsis Trust to raise awareness about the condition, and are holding a special fixture for Sepsis Awareness Day on December 1 at Sixways Stadium in Worcester.

She said: “I’m so extremely proud and pleased that Worcester Warriors Women are now sponsored by The UK Sepsis Trust and that, as a club, we can help spread awareness and encourage more happy endings like mine.”

Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning, is a life-threatening reaction to an infection that kills 44,000 people a year in the UK.

Sepsis is often difficult to diagnose because early symptoms can be confused with other conditions.

The name and logo of The UK Sepsis Trust will be prominently displayed on Warriors Women’s shirts throughout the season to help raise awareness of a life-threatening reaction to infection which kills five people every hour and affects 25,000 children each year in the UK.