TERRAS: Boxing Day deal for Sepsis Trust

Dorset Echo: RAISING AWARENESS: Kyle Critchell RAISING AWARENESS: Kyle Critchell

UNDER-16s will be given free admission at the Bob Lucas Stadium on Boxing Day in return for a minimum donation of £1 to the Sepsis Trust on entry to the ground.

This gesture, which has been organised by the Terras’ board and the Weymouth FC Supporters Association, has been designed to raise more awareness of the illness, which almost claimed midfielder Kyle Critchell’s life earlier this year.

A bumper crowd is expected for the local derby with Poole Town, (3pm) and Critchell himself will be in attendance as a guest of matchday sponsors Snookes.

A bucket collection will also take place in aid of the cause at half-time.

Five months ago, Critchell contracted severe sepsis, something that went undiagnosed for two weeks.

His condition was so severe his fiancee had to decide to either put him on life support or allow him to breathe alone.

Thankfully, Critchell has since pulled through and is now fighting back to fitness but he still faces a long road ahead of him in terms of his physical and mental rehabilitation.

The 26-year-old started his footballing career at Weymouth before going on to Southampton where he got to play alongside the likes of Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott in the club’s youth academy.

He also represented Wales at under-12 and under-17s level and enjoyed spells at Torquay, Chesterfield, Wrexham, York and Dorchester before finally ret-urning to his beloved Terras in 2012.

Critchell is currently assisting Weymouth reserve-team manager Jake Richmond and has not given up hope of playing again for his hometown club some time in the future.

Sepsis is a very serious life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures and damages its own tissues and organs.

It leads to shock, multiple organ failure and potentially death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly.

Abnormal temperatures, racing heartbeat or confusion and slurring of speech may be signs of sepsis.

Sepsis claims more than 37,000 lives in the United Kingdom every year – more than lung cancer and more than breast cancer and bowel cancer combined.

Research shows that early recognition, and intervention saves lives and could save as many as 15,000 people a year.

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