The daughter of a Ross-on-Wye man who tragically died from sepsis last year has organised a charity football match in his memory to raise awareness of the condition that took her beloved dad’s life.

 Karl Parker was 61 when he passed away from sepsis, three weeks after a short stay in hospital with a seemingly unassuming leg infection.

 His daughter, Lisa Parker, wants to raise awareness of the symptoms of sepsis to help others recognise them and get urgent medical attention. Together with Karl’s partner Deborah and her siblings, Lisa has organised a charity football match in memory of her dad at Ross Rugby Club, Greytree, Ross On Wye on Easter Saturday, 30 March, kicking off at 2pm.

 Karl’s friends and family will face off against each other in his memory and funds raised from the match will go to Sepsis Research FEAT, the UK’s only sepsis charity dedicated to research and raising awareness of the condition. Entry to the match will be a cash donation and there will also be a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses, a bouncy castle and face painting for kids, and hot food and drinks.

 Leeds United fan Karl spent two days in Hereford County Hospital in August 2023 and was treated with antibiotics before being discharged to recover at home.

 Three weeks later, Karl’s partner Deborah found him unresponsive and immediately called an ambulance which rushed him back to A&E with a very high temperature and an elevated heart rate.

 Blood tests revealed that, while Karl’s original leg infection had cleared, there was E.coli in his bloodstream. After spending 24 hours in resus, Karl was struggling to breathe and therefore put in an induced coma.

Lisa said: “My dad wasn’t conscious when he was diagnosed with sepsis. When we as a family found out we were very shocked and worried but we honestly thought that he’d get better, not realising how sick he really was and how fast sepsis had taken over my dad’s entire body.”

 Sadly Karl never regained consciousness and passed away on 14 September 2023.

 “We were absolutely heartbroken when we were told there was no more they could do for him. We couldn’t believe what we were being told and we had to try and remain strong for our beautiful dad. We were there till the end.

 “My dad and I were particularly close and my grief was overwhelming. I try to focus on keeping going and looking after myself, being true to what Dad would have wanted but I wish I had known about the symptoms of sepsis and been able to spot them and save his life. 

“I want to help other families who have been through the same thing. We need more research on sepsis and ways to treat it as antibiotics did nothing to help my dad,” said Lisa.

 “Watching someone you love deteriorate is the hardest thing, and my only comfort now is in trying to turn our tragedy into something positive. I know that I would be making Dad proud by sharing his story, raising awareness and preventing others from experiencing the pain we've endured.”

 Colin Graham, COO at Sepsis Research FEAT, said: “My heart breaks for Lisa and her family who have lost someone so dear to them to this devastating illness. Sepsis is a brutal killer which takes the lives of around 50,000 every year in the UK. Despite these shocking figures, many people are still unaware of how serious sepsis is. That is why raising awareness of this deadly condition is vital, so that more people know about it and are able to recognise the symptoms quickly.”