20 September 2019
Fiona Labroody, mum to Emily will be running the 2019 Winchester half marathon which marks a year to the day when she nearly lost her daughter.
On the 15th September 2018 I did a simple every day job and cut Emily’s toe nails before we flew out to Italy for her to represent Great Britain at the WAKO kick boxing world championships.
She told me I squeezed her toe and it really hurt. It just looked a bit red. Little did we know the horror that was about to unfold.”
The pain in Emily’s toe was the beginning of a rare staphylococcus infection that made a bore hole through her toe and travelled up into her tibia to give her osteomyelitis, an infection in the bone. Fiona continues,
Despite her pain and being maxed out on painkillers she cleared her first fight against Spain before having to withdraw from the competition and fly home early on the 20th as her pain and condition worsened.
In the early hours of the 21st she was admitted to Basingstoke Hospital and as her condition deteriorated and her leg swelled I feared she may lose it as she was struggling to move her toes and ankle and compartment syndrome was feared. We were also told the infection was blood bound, making her septic.
On the 22nd September she was transferred via ambulance to University Hospital Southampton where her condition worsened during the evening and the intensive care unit were briefed to expect her. I feared we might lose Emily, and she asked me not to let her sleep as she didn’t think she would wake up.
By the 23rd the doctors and nurses had managed to stabilise her enough to carry out the first of 13 operations to rid the bone of infection and eventually close the leg with plastic surgery.Emily spent nine weeks in hospital, had three months of intravenous antibiotics and the most amazing care from Southampton Children’s Hospital, our Consultant Kirsten Elliot and her wonderful team.I can’t begin to describe what a tough time it was but the team on G3 ward developed a fantastic bond with Emily and us as a family, and made a difficult time so much more bearable.After initially going back to school for two lessons a day in a wheelchair, Emily gradually got back on her feet until she was walking properly again. Slowly she got back to some training and is doing really well. She’s still not allowed to compete or run flat out yet but her leg is slowly mending.
We thank our lucky stars that’s she’s here with leg intact. Thanks to all the great care Southampton Children’s Hospital provided us, we wanted to give something back. That’s why, one year to the day that we thought we were going to lose our little girl, I will be running the Winchester half marathon for Southampton Hospital Charity.”