Wallum Action Group – Charity group

By Neil Wilson - Sub Editor for the Bribie Islander

Sepsis. Bribie Island Charity Organisation. Wallum Action Group.  

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Tags: Sepsis. Bribie Island Charity Organisation. Wallum Action Group.


Grandparents Margaret and Mike Wilkinson are passionate about making sure that everyone is made aware of two things, one being just how much that the Wallum Action Group does for our community and the other is the shocking situation which can result in the dangerous medical condition, sepsis, being misdiagnosed as a case of the flu.

Sepsis is regarded by the World Health Organisation as the most commonly misdiagnosed serious medical condition in the world and after their four-year-old granddaughter became a victim of the condition late last year, Margaret and Mike are determined to make people aware of the impact that can be experienced if the correct diagnosis is not made. ‘To cut a long story short, our granddaughter contracted sepsis which resulted in her becoming a quad amputee and spending a little over two months in the hospital,’ said Margaret.

Featured Image(above): Mike and Margaret Wilkinson called in to thank group
Treasurer Ann Ward (R) and other volunteers Viv, Julie and Betty for the great work that they do

‘We just want more people to be aware of what can happen. If they receive the correct treatment early, there is a good chance that they will survive,’ she said. This condition is brought on by an uncontrolled immune response to an infection and the mortality rate is estimated to be almost thirty percent of cases in Australia. ‘There are more than thirteen deaths each day,’ Mike told me.

‘Each hour that diagnosis and treatment are delayed increases the likelihood of death by between four and eight percent,’ he explained. The couple’s little granddaughter returned from the hospital in late December and has since turned five. ‘She has been attending school since the start of the first term and I think this helped her to enjoy being part of the class,’ said Mike. ‘She is definitely a feisty little girl and she often draws using a pencil held between the stumps on her arms,’ he told me.

A less than desirable situation is that there is little or no information about sepsis that is available to the public in doctor’s surgeries or clinics even though awareness is extremely essential to ensure that treatment is sought in time. The symptoms of sepsis include shivering, either fever or cold, extreme pain, feelings of sleepiness and confusion as well as shortness of breath. Professionals advise that when consulting a doctor for a suspected case of the flu, the question “Could it be sepsis?” should be asked.

Blood tests can often assist in differentiating between sepsis and a viral infection with symptoms that are similar to sepsis. Margaret and Mike paid a visit to the Wallum Action Group’s Community Nursery recently for the opportunity to express the family’s heartfelt thanks to the group for their help with obtaining the equipment which will be vital in assisting the little girl in her daily activities.

Mike said that as well as helping with the cost of wheelchairs, the Wallum Action Group had also been instrumental in the funding of some of the renovations that are required. ‘We really want everyone to know just how much the Wallum Action Group have contributed to the welfare of this little girl,’ Mike pointed out. ‘They provide such a wonderful amount of assistance in the community,’ he said. The Wallum Action Group rely on plant sales from their Community Nursery to fund their work within the community and the organisation is operated solely by volunteers.

The Community Nursery is situated on First Avenue beside the Orchid House and is open each weekday from 8 am to 11 am. Anyone who would like information about what is available at the nursery or perhaps wishes to become a volunteer should either call in for a chat or make a call to 0407 699 953.

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