Call the Midwife's Heidi Thomas nearly DIED from Barb's illness!

Call the Midwife's Heidi Thomas nearly DIED from Barb's illness!

We're still drying our eyes over Barbara's tragic death on Sunday - frankly we're not sure we'll ever be the same! And it turns out that the storyline, which saw poor Barb suffering from meningitis and sepsis was actually based on writer Heidi Thomas' real life drama.

Her husband Stephen McGann, who plays Dr Turner in the hit BBC series, has tweeted that he was 'in bits' watching the episode, 20 years after Heidi fought for her life with sepsis. 

Heidi, who is now 55, was rushed to hospital after the birth of their son Dominic, with suspected food poisoning, but the diagnosis was actually sepsis.


He also said that, like poor Tom sitting up with Barbara, he had waited anxiously beside his wife's bed - although of course, thankfully, Heidi's story had a better outcome.

He tweeted: "That episode had me in bits. I've sat where Tom has. I was lucky then. So many aren't."

Stephen had recently revealed that Heidi makes him read her scripts and they often make him cry, so we're not surprised this one affected him!

What are the symptoms of sepsis?

If you're unsure of the symptoms of sepsis you're far from alone, but a new campaign is urging parents and grandparents to be aware of the signs. The Uk Sepsis Trust estimates there are more than 120,000 cases of sepsis and a shocking 37,000 deaths each year in England.

They advise that you call 999 or take your child or grandchild to A&E if they display any of the following signs:

  • Looks mottled, bluish or pale
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch
  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Has a fit or convulsion

Campaign supporter and UK Sepsis trust ambassador Melissa Mead lost her son William to sepsis in 2014. “Sepsis is a cruel, ruthless condition which doesn’t discriminate and can affect anyone," she says. "I hope this campaign reaches as many people as possible, so all parents out there know about sepsis and how serious it can be. The more parents know, the quicker they can act if they suspect their child may be suffering from sepsis – it could be life-saving.

"I will never hear my sweet child say ‘mummy I love you’. I will never know the man that William would have grown to be. So please, it is too late for me to ‘think sepsis’, but it’s not too late for you.”

For further information on sepsis, visit or

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