Madeline (Maddy) Jones (1998 - 2017)
Maddy Jones was an 18-year-old Honours Law student in the prime of her life. She was intelligent, beautiful, very independent, wickedly funny, sarcastic, and sometimes irreverent. Maddy was a great lover of all of God’s creatures, in particular dogs. She was larger than life. A high achiever, who through sheer dedication and perseverance, typically got what she wanted.
She had a love of Tennis and attended the Queensland Tennis School of Excellence at Kelvin Grove State College during her high school years While at University she continued her tennis and coached young children at Southern Cross Tennis.
One Thursday afternoon Maddy complained that she was feeling sick. We took her to the first available GP appointment the next day, Friday. She complained that she was feeling worse on Saturday, so she presented to an Emergency Department where she was diagnosed with the Flu and sent home to rest. In the early hours of Tuesday morning she asked me to call her an Ambulance. Her Mother drove her to the hospital. By lunchtime that day she was in a coma and nine days later she was dead, just two weeks shy of her 19th Birthday.
Maddy had the signs of Sepsis. Pale skin, shortness of breath, muscular pain, fever, vomiting. She knew she was very sick but we told her that she had the flu. We had not heard of Sepsis before. We did not know the signs of Sepsis and we did not ask “Could this be Sepsis?”. What I would give now to have known those words. Maddy is my daughter.
Maddy was farewelled at a service where over 800 people overflowed from the church. Yet my guess is that only the medical staff that attended would have heard of, or known anything about, Sepsis.
How could we have not heard about a condition that is responsible for more deaths in Australia than Breast Cancer or the national road toll?
The Maddy Jones Foundation is Maddy’s gift to the world. Through Maddy’s story, her legacy, she will continue to be an achiever by saving the lives of others. The Maddy Jones Foundation aims to eliminate preventable deaths and disabilities resulting from a lack of Sepsis awareness, speedy diagnosis and immediate medical treatment by raising awareness for the public and healthcare professionals through education programs and initiatives that promote the early diagnosis of Sepsis through the identification of symptoms, leading to urgent and effective treatment.