I have been living with an antibiotic resistant infection since 2008, as I suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs) and have done since age 16. This means that I must go into hospital every time I suffer an attack, to be put on an antibiotic intravenous drip. Each time it happens, I am worried that there are fewer and fewer antibiotics that will work to clear up my infection.
After an attack, I feel completely drained of energy and suffer on-going pain throughout the day. This means that I am often unable to enjoy some of the simpler things in life, such as running around and playing with my young son.
Despite having to live with an antibiotic resistant infection, I lead a relatively normal life and work full-time as a head stylist for a high street fashion chain.
What impact did your experience have on you?
Unfortunately, antibiotic resistance has not just affected myself, but my whole family too. When I was pregnant with my son, I had two attacks, one at 5 months and the other when I was 8 months pregnant. It was the scariest time of my life, because not only was the infection affecting my health, but it could have had an effect on my unborn baby’s health too. Fortunately, my son was born safely and without too many difficulties, but that would not have been the case if the antibiotics had not worked.
To what extent did your experience change your knowledge about antibiotic resistance?
I am proud to have been asked to represent Antibiotic Research UK as an ambassador, as the charity continues to pursue its goals of developing new antibiotic therapies and raising awareness around antimicrobial resistance among the public and professionals. I will do everything in my power to make sure that bugs like the one I have are kept away from future generations. This situation will not get any better unless action is taken now.