A Pennsylvania woman with terminal illness posed for a photoshoot to inspire others as she fights for her life.
Sarah Wisely, 22, has sepsis and has battled 22 cases in the past three years. Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to a bacterial infection, which triggers widespread inflammation and leads to blood clots and leaky blood vessels, according to the National Institutes of Health. A patient can experience poor blood flow, depriving their body of nutrients and oxygen. During an attack, doctors work to treat the infection, sustain vital organs and prevent a drop in blood pressure and many patients receive oxygen and intravenous fluids.
Sepsis is considered to be a medical emergency. It can occur to anyone, from any type of infection and can affect any part of the body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Having stared death in the face numerous times, this only motivated — and continues to push — me to fight even harder and live the best life I possibly can, and more,” Wisely wrote on the clothing brand Free People’s blog, for which she posed for the photoshoot.
Wisely has permanent scars all over her body from the illness and subsequent surgeries. In the post, she recalled how a favorite doctor suggested she consider hospice, but Wisely refused to give up, even if it meant battling sepsis for the rest of her life.
“But I know that doesn’t make me any less beautiful. I know I can use everything I’ve been through as fuel to help myself and all women alike be the best they can be and embrace who they are,” she wrote.