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Mackinlay’s return to Parliament after severe sepsis breaks chains between left and right

By: Isuru Parakrama

May 25, World (LNW): Conservative MP of the British Parliament Craig Mackinlay received a rare standing ovation from fellow members of Parliament, as he returned to the chambers for the first time since having his hands and feet amputated due to a life-threatening sepsis episode, foreign media reports.

Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle allowed the applause, calling Mackinlay an inspiration, a sentiment echoed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who praised his resilience.

Mackinlay humourously apologised for breaking Commons rules with the applause and expressed his desire to be known as the “bionic MP.”

He used his question at Prime Minister’s Questions to call for better recognition of sepsis signs and improved prosthetic provisions for amputees.

Despite political differences, Opposition and Labour Party Leader Sir Keir Starmer and other MPs praised Mackinlay’s courage.

After a severe illness in September, Mackinlay was given just a 5 per cent chance of survival and spent 16 days in a coma.

On his return, he met with Sir Lindsay Hoyle and received support from colleagues and family.

Mackinlay acknowledged the challenges of navigating Parliament with his prosthetics and praised the support from parliamentary authorities.

He further thanked the NHS staff and family for their support during his recovery and humourously mentioned the surgeons who amputated his limbs.

Addressing Prime Minister Sunak, Mackinlay emphasised the need for early sepsis recognition and better prosthetics provision.

Sunak assured that the government is working to raise sepsis awareness and improve NHS responses. Opposition leaders also welcomed Mackinlay back, calling him an inspiration.

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised his courage, and Mackinlay expressed his intention to stand in the next general election.

Sepsis is a critical and potentially fatal medical condition that arises when the body’s immune system mounts an excessive response to an infection, resulting in extensive inflammation. This hyperactive immune reaction can inflict severe damage on the body’s tissues and organs, which may lead to their dysfunction or failure. Without timely and effective intervention, sepsis can escalate to septic shock, a severe state marked by a precipitous decline in blood pressure that can be life-threatening. Early indicators of sepsis often include fever, tachycardia (increased heart rate), tachypnoea (rapid breathing), and altered mental status, such as confusion. Immediate and comprehensive medical treatment is essential to control the underlying infection and provide critical support to the compromised organs, thereby improving the chances of recovery and survival.

Critics responsive to world politics point out that Mackinlay’s courage sets a precedent for all political leaders worldwide, regardless of the wing – left or right – in which they serve or represent.

References:

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sepsis
https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/cq55werre08o

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