Meet Mick

Share this story

Four years ago, Mick O’Dowd thought he would never be able to do much again. In the aftermath of a devastating illness (sepsis) he could only hope to have the kind of freedom most people take for granted.

It was 2018 and the whole family was there for a hectic, noisy, happy Christmas Day. While he was manning the barbecue, Mick began to feel “really hot and uncomfortable”. As the afternoon wore on things became worse and worse. By that night, Mick was leaning against a brick wall at Canterbury Hospital emergency, “just trying to breathe through the pain”, while he waited to see a doctor. He was diagnosed with sciatica and sent home at 7:00am on Boxing Day. But a deadly infection was racing through his body. Back at hospital later that day, things got very serious, very fast. Mick’s blood pressure was low, his heart rate was high, his breathing shallow. He felt as if he was dying, and he was right. On life support he had a 20 per cent chance of making it to the morning.

Read more about Mick and his family’s incredible strength in prevailing over sepsis  Mick’s story 4 years on

Watch Australian Story “A matter of minutes” on ABC iView A matter of minutes