Derby: Man needs legs amputated after catching flu

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Levi Dewey, 20, was told by doctors he only had a 30% chance of survival (Picture: BPM Media)

A man who was told by doctors he was one of the sickest patients in the country is to undergo surgery to remove both of his legs.

Levi Dewey will have both his legs amputated just two days before his 21st birthday.

It comes after he caught flu and pneumonia – which later led to sepsis.

The 20-year-old from Willington, Derbyshire, will have surgery on January 24 after doctors said he only had a 30% chance of survival.

Levi had previously been an active and sporty young man, who enjoyed playing football and watching Derby FC.

He was admitted to Royal Derby Hospital with flu-like symptoms and breathing difficulties on December 7, 2022.

Since then, his condition deteriorated and he went into septic shock and had multi-organ failure.

Doctors found out he was suffering from influenza B and pneumococcal pneumonia.

Levi’s mum, Lara Dewey, 47, said: ‘We were told fairly early on that Levi could potentially lose his legs and need an operation, we were prepared for this outcome if it was to save his life.

‘Obviously it’s going to be life-changing for everyone, but this is something we can work through as a family and we have such a strong and positive support network.

Levi’s surgery will take place on January 24 (Picture: Lara Dewey/BPM Media)

‘Levi has always had a positive mindset and his glass is always half full.’

The 20-year-old was transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester to receive ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and full organ support.

He spent 20 days on ECMA – 14 of which were in an induced coma and was gradually taken off organ support and, after 31 days, taken off a ventilator.

On January 9, Levi was moved back to Royal Derby for ongoing care.

Two days later he was informed that, due to the severity of his sepsis he had contracted, he would need below-knee amputation on both of his legs.

The surgery will be life-altering for the 20-year-old (Picture: Lara Dewey/BPM Media)

Now, his family are fundraising to help him walk again – and have already raised more than £47,000 as of January 19.

‘Initially we were looking to raise £10,000 but as you can see this has been exceeded and the response has been extremely overwhelming,’ Laura said.

‘It’s overwhelming and emotional and we are all speechless. It’s amazing how supportive friends, family, colleagues, communities and also strangers have been towards this cause and also their generosity.

‘Initially the money will be used to buy Levi a wheelchair and for home improvements, including ramps and showering facilities.

‘Once he’s able to walk again we will look at buying him the best prosthetic limbs possible privately and any further equipment he will need.’

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