Jim Leishman and Alex Rowley join Tracy and Alan Straker to highlight SEPSIS
Jim Leishman and Alex Rowley join Tracy and Alan Straker to highlight SEPSIS

Alex Rowley MSP has written to the Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neal following a meeting with Local constituents Alan and Tracy Straker who contacted Mr Rowley to highlight the work they are doing along side the SEPSIS UK Trust. Alan and Tracy wish to raise awareness of Sepsis in Scotland after the tragic passing of their daughter Emma who contracted Sepsis and died shortly after her 19th birthday while studying at University. The Strakers, who have dedicated much of there time to raising awareness of Sepsis since Emmas passing and are now working with Alex to highlight the dangers of Sepsis in the Scottish Parliament, effectively lobby the Scottish Government and insure that effective procedures are in place to identify and treat patients with Sepsis in Scotland.

Alex has specifically asked the Scottish health secretary for an update as to the work of Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s, Scottish Patient Safety Programme, which was launched in 2012 to tackle mortality rates in Scottish hospitals from conditions such as Sepsis. As the program is due to have met it’s key objectives by 2015 Alex has asked if the program is on track to meet the targets set out by HIS and what other work is being done collaboratively to help reduce the risk that Sepsis poses to people in Scotland. Alex has also pledged to do all he can to work with the Strakers and the UK Sepsis Trust to highlight areas where the Scottish Government must do more to prevent, highlight and improve treatment for Sepsis in Scotland.

What is Sepsis?

Sepsis which was previously known as septicemia or blood poisoning is a medical condition whereby as a reaction to infection the body attacks its own tissue and organs. If not spotted and treated quickly Sepsis can rapidly lead to organ failure and death. Despite Sepsis being one of our biggest killers very few people are aware of the condition or understand how important it is to seek immediate treatment. Sepsis claims 37,000 lives every year in the UK and costs the NHS £2.5 billion a year. The Sepsis trust believes that UK wide 12,500 lives every year could be saved and £160 million could be saved by the NHS if more effective treatment practices and procedures were put in place. Alex said: “HIS, and the Scottish Patient Safety Programme, have done some work on Sepsis but I think it fair to say it’s not yet fully embedded. I would be keen to support this work where possible and help ensure its success”.

Emma’s Story by Tracy Straker

On the 4th October 2013 our world was shattered with these words “Emma had been found dead”. 

Emma had been ill for a few weeks at the end of August and the beginning of September with the Flu and had a throat infection; Emma had been to the doctors and had been given antibiotics. After a week or so she started to feel better and was getting back to her “normal” self. Emma enjoyed fresher’s week and the start of her 2nd year at Uni.

Emma had her 19th Birthday on the 20th September and she was becoming an independent and happy young woman. We had a family day out on 1st October and again Emma was healthy and happy and looking forward to her new year at Uni and being in her flat with her Uni family (Rhona, Alex & Lewis).

On Wednesday night Emma and her Uni family were out, Emma was feeling a little unwell but nothing more than usual. Emma was still feeling unwell on the Thursday and didn`t go to Uni, her Uni family checked on her and kept her topped up on Juice and food.

Emma had been on “chat” through out the Thursday to a few people as well as txt even with me and a quick call to her dad.

On the Friday her Uni family was getting up for class and went to check on Emma……sadly Emma had passed away.

I can only imagine the terror and distress this has caused her Uni family……

It was only a week before Christmas that we found out the cause of death for Emma; SEPSIS.

Until that day we had never heard of this or knew what it was.

Please help us spread the word about SEPSIS this is not well know but 37,000 people die of this each year, yet so little know about the symptoms or cause.

In memory of Emma, the Straker family has set up a donations page which you can donate to in the following ways:

Donate online at –

By text message to donate £10 Text EMLU94 £10
to 70070


Post Author: Alex Rowley