A RUNNER is going the extra mile to raise awareness of sepsis after the condition claimed the life of his niece.

Neil Thomson said it was devastating to lose his niece Diane Sutherland who died aged just 45 after developing sepsis.

Years later Diane’s son Ryan, who is now 28, also spent 10 days in a coma after being diagnosed with the deadly condition.

Luckily he made a full recovery.

Kilmacolm man Neil, whose brother was also diagnosed with the condition following an operation and has friends who have suffered from it, is now on a mission to raise as much and awareness of sepsis as he possibly can.

The 70-year-old and his friends at the Kilmacolm Unofficial Running Club have organised a 80s-themed charity night at the Cargill Centre tonight.

He hopes the party night will raise lots of money for FEAT — a charity founded in memory of the late Dr Fiona Agnew and her daughter Isla, who both died after contracting Sepsis in August 2012.

Neil said: “The running club organises a charity night every year, choosing different charities.

“I have a history with sepsis so I was keen to raise money for FEAT.

“Diane died of sepsis back in 2006 — it was devastating.

“That was the first time I had really heard about sepsis but three years ago her son Ryan developed it and ended up in an induced coma for 10 days.

“It was very sudden and worrying but luckily he recovered.

“My brother also got it while he was in hospital for a prostate operation but he was fine.

“I also have a friend who spent his last 15 years in a wheelchair due to sepsis.

“I want to create that awareness about sepsis because if you get to it quick enough, it can be helped.”

Sepsis is one of the world’s most common deadly diseases but it’s one of the least recognised. 

It remains the primary cause of death from infection despite all the advances in modern medicine over the last 50 years, including vaccines, antibiotics, and intensive care.

Sepsis arises when the human body’s response to an infection spirals rapidly out of control and makes it injure its own tissues and organs.

Even with modern intensive medical care, it can quickly lead to shock, multiple organ failure and death. 

But there is good evidence that prompt, appropriate treatment saves lives.

Neil, who is a keen runner and celebrated his 70th birthday back in January by completing his 100th Greenock Parkrun, hopes lots of people will come along to the charity night.

He added: “In the UK, 44,000 people die from sepsis every year so I’m keen to raise as much awareness as possible.

“Hopefully we can raise a lot of money for the charity.”

Katherine McCullough, pictured with Neil, a fellow member of Kilmacolm Unofficial Running Club, says everyone involved with the group is pleased to support Neil’s chosen charity.

She said: “The whole running club regard Neil as a star member.

“I think the charity night will be fantastic and it will raise a lot of awareness about sepsis and what to look out for.”

The signs of sepsis include a very high or low temperature, uncontrolled shivering, confusion, not passing as much urine as normal and cold or blotchy hands and feet.

If you think you or someone in your care has one of these conditions, go straight to A&E or call 999.

Tickets for tonight’s charity night from 7-11.30pm cost £10 and they can be purchased on the door, from members of the running club or from the Cross Cafe in Kilmacolm.