A YOUNG woman from Bishopton who twice survived the ravages of a potentially-deadly disease has described how she feared it would take her life.

Nicola Murray contracted sepsis twice in the space of 14 months in what she said was a “traumatic and scary” experience in which she felt her body shutting down as the illness, made worse by a bout of pneumonia, took hold.

But thanks to the support of friends and loved ones, as well as lifesaving medical care at the Royal Alexandra Hospital, in Paisley, Nicola pulled through – and her story of survival is being used to highlight Sepsis Awareness Month.

READ MORE: Campaign to raise awareness of sepsis is hailed as ‘a lifesaver’ by NHS chiefs

Nicola told The Gazette how she first contracted sepsis in February 2018 after a bout of pneumonia.

After a four-day stay in hospital, she was allowed home and recovered well enough to return to work after three weeks.

Life returned to normal and she was looking forward to her 21st birthday but the sepsis returned 14 months later and she was rushed to hospital for a second time.

“After some results came back, I was told I had really bad pneumonia,” she said. “Within two hours, I was also told I had sepsis again.”

Nicola then endured frightening symptoms as her oxygen levels dropped, her temperature spiked and she had bouts of diarrhoea and vomiting blood.

She recalled: “I thought I might be dying but my mum told me I had to be strong and fight against it, that she was definitely taking me home from this hospital, so it was now down to me to stay positive.”

Nicola credits mum Caroline, stepdad Ian and boyfriend Andrew Lang for providing the support that helped her pull through.

She said: “Andrew and I have been together for three years and he lived through it all with me.

“It’s good to have family and friends to show you support when you have an illness like sepsis.

“The pneumonia has left me with some asthma and my energy levels are not what they used to be, but I can still go walks with my dog Lennie.

“I had never heard of sepsis before I took ill but realise now that people have to be aware of its devastating effects.”

READ MORE: Corinne Hutton creates lasting impression at Johnstone school

Nicola is supporting Sepsis Research and will host a fundraising race night with best friend Deryn Jennings at Bishopton Bowling Club on Saturday, October 12.

Sepsis Research, based in Scotland, is the only UK charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness of the disease.

For more information about Sepsis Awareness Month, which takes place in September, visit here.

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond