Postman Ryan Nulty thought he had flu when he returned home feeling unwell from his usual mail round in Sussex.
But just hours later 46-year-old Ryan was fighting for his life in hospital.
Ryan was struck out of the blue with the killer condition sepsis and has now had to undergo amputation of both his legs below the knee.
And this week Ryan’s dad Des has spoken out about Ryan’s bravery and his determination to fight back against the illness that so very nearly killed him.
He described Ryan as ‘absolutely brave’ and what happened to him as ‘absolutely devastating,’ but Ryan has remained positive throughout it all.
Ryan, who has always enjoyed walking and cycling and taking his beloved dog Jeffrey out for walks, had finished his postal round in Horsham as normal last October when his world suddenly changed forever.
After going to bed with what he thought was flu, his partner Shaaron realised the following morning that something was seriously wrong. She phoned 999 and Ryan was rushed to the intensive care unit at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.
By the afternoon he was on life support and suffering organ failure.
His dad said: “He looked like someone who had been in a burns unit. It really attacked his body.”
After a week Ryan was transferred to St Thomas’s Hospital in London and then on to St Heliers in Sutton for dialysis as his kidneys packed up. Meanwhile, his spleen was shattered leaving him vulnerable to infection.
His feet became affected by gangrene and Ryan was given the devastating news that they would have to be amputated.
The father of two and grandfather, was allowed to spend Christmas at home but was then treated at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton where he underwent the amputation in January. He is now recovering at Horsham Hospital.
Dad Des said: “He’s never got angry or blamed anyone or said ‘why me’?
“He’s been absolutely brave and absolutely positive and I’m very proud of him.”
And he praised the NHS which he said had been ‘brilliant throughout.’
Des has now launched a public funding appeal to raise awareness of sepsis as well as raising money to help adapt Ryan’s home with a wet room and ramp to cope with his disability.
Ryan himself is determined to make more people aware of just how quickly sepsis can strike and how it can affect people. Around 37,000 people a year in the UK die from the condition.
Meanwhile, it is hoped that Ryan will be fitted with prosthetic legs and that he will be able to return to work with Royal Mail.