Perth man loses hands and feet to meningococcal
JAKE Clift started feeling unwell on Boxing Day. He thought he had a bad bout of gastro or food poisoning from something he had eaten.
The Perth father-of-two, 28, began throwing up so badly that he passed out twice and became confused and disoriented.
He had a fit.
By the time his family called an ambulance, his lips had turned blue and on the five-minute journey to the hospital he started to develop a purple rash on his body.
His organs began to fail and as soon as he arrived at hospital he was put on life support.
What he was battling wasn't the flu or gastro - he had meningococcal meningitis and septicaemia.
According to Perth Now, Mr Clift was placed in an induced coma - "his liver and kidneys had failed, an artery was not pumping blood, his lungs had collapsed and his legs, arms, nose and ears were turning black from a lack of oxygen."
His family was told he wouldn't make it through the night. His chance of survival was 5 per cent.
But brother Travis told Seven News that Jacob managed to beat the odds.
"He wasn't ready to go," Travis said. "He's definitely a fighter."
He eventually woke up on January 5, but his battle was far from over. Although he had beaten the meningococcal virus, it had taken an enormous toll on his body.
Both Mr Clift's hands were amputated in long, painful surgeries, as were his legs (15cm below the knee).
He also underwent numerous skin grafts (through which he lost all the skin on his legs) and numerous rounds of dialysis to filter his blood.
Finally, he is ready to go home. A Gofundme page is raising money to purchase a vehicle that can accommodate his wheelchair.
So far it has raised just over $14,000 (with a $50,000 goal) since the campaign was launched two days ago.
Debbie Regan, who started the Gofundme page said: "Jacob has shown an enormous amount of courage, determination and resilience. He has defied all odds and as a father to two beautiful girls he has showed them what true strength really is.
"Jake's new journey in life is just beginning and he has many struggles ahead of him. Jake's family are now facing the reality of having him home in the coming months and he will begin his rehabilitation phase. They will face significant expenses over the coming years."
Mr Clift - father to Matilda and Willow - told Seven News the illness had come on with alarming speed and he and his family wanted to send a message to the community to "get vaccinated".
"A large percentage of Australians are not vaccinated against the new strains of meningococcal and it is vital that you make an appointment with your GP and get the vaccinations as soon as possible."