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Strictly’s Amy Dowden opens up on “life threatening” sepsis battle

amy dowden
Strictly’s Amy Dowden opens up on sepsis battleMatthew Horwood - Getty Images

Strictly Come Dancing professional Amy Dowden has opened up on a recent life-threatening sepsis battle.

The dancer revealed in May that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and has since been undergoing chemotherapy, keeping fans regularly updated on her treatment.

However Amy has now revealed to Hello! that she needed treatment in hospital for sepsis back in early August, following an infection she'd had prior to starting chemotherapy.

Sepsis is a complication to an infection where the body overreacts and begins attacking healthy tissues and organs (NHS). Symptoms include high temperature, breathlessness, confusion and clammy skin.

amy dowden, bafta cymru awards 2022
Matthew Horwood - Getty Images

Related: Strictly's Amy Dowden "burst into tears" over cancer treatment

Patients who are immunocompromised or undergoing treatment such as chemotherapy are particularly vulnerable.

Amy had been at home with her parents Richard and Gillian, who contacted the hospital after the dancer deteriorated.

"I wasn't feeling too bad that day, just sick, but a couple of hours later I started having a temperature," she recalled. Amy added that she was initially hesitant about heading to A&E due to her lowered immune system, but agreed to go on advice from West Midlands Ambulance Service.

Her parents were left in "panic mode" by the "serious" diagnosis, but thankfully Amy began to respond to treatment after a change in antibiotics.

james bye and amy dowden, strictly come dancing 2022, week 2
BBC

Related: Strictly's Amy Dowden shares update on show future amid cancer battle

Reflecting on her time in hospital, Amy revealed that she hadn't been fully aware of the severity of her illness at the time.

"The doctors and nurses were telling me I had sepsis and that it was life-threatening," she said. "But I wasn't taking it in. I didn't become properly aware until later."

Amy has also thanked the West Midlands team for their care and advice, adding: "We couldn't be more grateful to them... I was glad to be able to thank them for saving my life."


Further information about breast cancer is available via organisations including the NHS, CoppaFeel!, Macmillan, Cancer Research and Breast Cancer Now. Readers in the US may wish to visit the CDC or the National Cancer Institute.

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