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Jason Watkins has admitted that he still ‘blames himself’ over the death of his daughter Maude from Sepsis. 

The actor, 60, and wife Clara Francis sadly lost their daughter in 2011 after she developed a respiratory infection and subsequently sepsis. She was two years old. 

Jason found Maude, who had been suffering from flu, dead in her bed on New Year’s Day morning. Despite two hospital visits, her flu symptoms masked the sepsis and she went undiagnosed. 

And speaking on Thursday’s Good Morning Britain ahead of their documentary Jason & Clara: In Memory of Maudie, Jason told how he still feels somewhat responsible as he was the one who brought Maude home from the hospital a second time.

While Clara expressed her regret that the couple had been ‘so accepting’ of the doctor’s initially diagnosis of Croup, wishing they’d been more ‘demanding’ that Maude stay in hospital at that time. 

Guilt: Jason Watkins has admitted that he still ‘blames himself’ over the death of his daughter Maude from Sepsis

So sad: The actor, 60, and wife Clara Francis sadly lost their daughter in 2011 after she developed a respiratory infection and subsequently sepsis. She was two years old

So sad: The actor, 60, and wife Clara Francis sadly lost their daughter in 2011 after she developed a respiratory infection and subsequently sepsis. She was two years old

Heartbreaking: The couple still keep Maude's red shoes on the mantlepiece, 11 years after her death

Heartbreaking: The couple still keep Maude’s red shoes on the mantlepiece, 11 years after her death

Joining Susanna Reid and Adil Ray on the ITV show, the grieving couple opened up about their child’s passing, admitting that her death could have been avoided, while Clara admitted that she’s never even heard of Sepsis before her daughter contracted it. 

On whether they had any advice for parents who suspected their own child of suffering with the condition, Jason shared: ‘It’s hard for us as parents, that’s one of the painful things, “Did we do everything we could have?”

‘It’s easy to blame yourself and I still do because I was there when she was discharged the second time.’ 

Clara then added: ‘We always will because it’s that instinct thing, ‘If I had just been more… demanded and stuck with my instinct she was seriously ill and not been so accepting.’

During the chat, Susanna said: ‘Any parent, anyone will feel that viscerally, that attempt not to lose your daughter. 

‘I suppose what is so tragic about this is the signs of sepsis should be spotted but aren’t because it is very hard to spot them and that’s what led to Maudie’s death.’

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To which Clara replied: ‘I’d not even heard of sepsis before Maude died. I had heard of septicaemia but not sepsis and they are different and it’s not like meningitis which is easier to spot – you’ll have very clear signs.

‘It is more insidious. but when you do know the signs, when you do know what you’re looking for then you know. So it’s important to learn what they are.’

Tragic: Jason found Maude, who had been suffering from flu , dead in her bed on New Year's Day morning. Despite two hospital visits, her flu symptoms masked the sepsis and she went undiagnosed

Tragic: Jason found Maude, who had been suffering from flu , dead in her bed on New Year’s Day morning. Despite two hospital visits, her flu symptoms masked the sepsis and she went undiagnosed

Regret: Jason told how he still feels somewhat responsible as he was the one who brought Maude home from the hospital a second time

Wish: While Clara expressed her regret that the couple had been 'so accepting' of the doctor's initially diagnosis of Croup, wishing they'd been more 'demanding' that Maude stay in hospital at that time

Wish: While Clara expressed her regret that the couple had been ‘so accepting’ of the doctor’s initially diagnosis of Croup, wishing they’d been more ‘demanding’ that Maude stay in hospital at that time

Grief: Eleven years after her sudden death, the couple have filmed a documentary titled Jason & Clara: In Memory of Maudie, where they will discuss their grief battle

Grief: Eleven years after her sudden death, the couple have filmed a documentary titled Jason & Clara: In Memory of Maudie, where they will discuss their grief battle

Difficult: In the documentary, Jason said it finally feels like the right time to share Maude's story as they are moving away from the home where their late daughter was both born and died

Difficult: In the documentary, Jason said it finally feels like the right time to share Maude’s story as they are moving away from the home where their late daughter was both born and died

Opening up: Jason said he hopes the documentary can help other people while Clara said she wants to 'break the taboo' of child loss

Opening up: Jason said he hopes the documentary can help other people while Clara said she wants to ‘break the taboo’ of child loss

On the symptoms being so difficult to spot, Jason added: ‘Those symptoms often hide behind presenting symptoms. So it might be a cold or chest infection that the sepsis is lurking underneath.

‘So one has to ask, “Could it be sepsis?” We have to rule this out first and then look at those presenting symptoms.

‘It is a very complicated, infant A&E is very is complicated.’

As Adil then told that in Maude’s case she had visited hospital and had been checked over by medics, Clara said: ‘You thought, oh she’s okay and she went to bed like any other child would and it was in the morning you discovered something wasn’t right.

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‘We took her to the hospital, to A&E, two days in a row and both times were sent home because both times they misdiagnosed her and said she had croup.’

The mum, who also has daughter Bessie and son Gilbert with the actor, then told how despite her ‘instincts’ telling her otherwise, she felt ‘reassured’ by doctors when they said her daughter would be fine.

She continued: ‘I believe sepsis is a secondary illness so she had flu and she had a rasping cough and we were very reassured, we went to the hospital and were sent home twice and I think at that stage before your child dies, you believe what you’re told when a doctor tells you.

‘I was incredibly reassured because my instinct was she’s really not well but if they’re telling me she’s okay and sending her home and haven’t asked to keep her overnight then it’s fine.’

Thoughts: On whether they had any advice for parents who suspected their own child of suffering with the condition, Jason shared: 'It's hard for us as parents, that's one of the painful things, "Did we do everything we could have?"

Thoughts: On whether they had any advice for parents who suspected their own child of suffering with the condition, Jason shared: ‘It’s hard for us as parents, that’s one of the painful things, “Did we do everything we could have?”

Hindsight: 'We always will because it's that instinct thing, 'If I had just been more... demanded and stuck with my instinct she was seriously ill and not been so accepting'

Hindsight: ‘We always will because it’s that instinct thing, ‘If I had just been more… demanded and stuck with my instinct she was seriously ill and not been so accepting’

Hard: 'I'd not even heard of sepsis before Maude died. I had heard of septicaemia but not sepsis and they are different and it's not like meningitis which is easier to spot - you'll have very clear signs' (pictured in their documentary)

Hard: ‘I’d not even heard of sepsis before Maude died. I had heard of septicaemia but not sepsis and they are different and it’s not like meningitis which is easier to spot – you’ll have very clear signs’ (pictured in their documentary)

Anger: 'When we came into the A&E department, I wanted to say to all the healthcare professionals, "Did you not see what she was like when she came in?"'

Anger: ‘When we came into the A&E department, I wanted to say to all the healthcare professionals, “Did you not see what she was like when she came in?”‘

Making a difference: The couple now campaign for better awareness of recognising the signs of sepsis

Making a difference: The couple now campaign for better awareness of recognising the signs of sepsis

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies star Jason then added: ‘Going back the second time when we drove Maudie to the hospital for the second time, she was having breathing difficulties and those are the things that are classic symptoms of sepsis, where your child is fighting for breath and her eyes were rolling into her head.

‘When we came into the A&E department, I wanted to say to all the healthcare professionals, “Did you not see what she was like when she came in?”‘

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The couple now campaign for better awareness of recognising the signs of sepsis.

Jason & Clara: In Memory of Maudie airs tonight (30 March) at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

If you need further support or information about bereavement and grief, mental health charity Mind can be contacted via 0300 123 3393. 

What are the key symptoms of sepsis? The ‘silent killer’ that can cause death in minutes

Sepsis, known as the ‘silent killer’, strikes when an infection such as blood poisoning sparks a violent immune response in which the body attacks its own organs. 

It is a potentially life-threatening condition, triggered by an infection or injury.  Around 245,000 people develop sepsis in the UK each year and 52,000 die, according to the UK Sepsis Trust.

Instead of attacking the invading bug, the body turns on itself, shutting down vital organs.

If caught early enough, it’s easily treated with intravenous antibiotics and fluids, but these must be given as soon as sepsis is suspected – it strikes with frightening speed and, for every hour of delay, a patient’s chance of dying increases 8 per cent.

Sepsis is a leading cause of avoidable death killing 44,000 people each year

Sepsis is a leading cause of avoidable death killing 44,000 people each year

The early symptoms of sepsis can be easily confused with more mild conditions, meaning it can be difficult to diagnose. 

A high temperature (fever), chills and shivering, a fast heartbeat and rapid breathing are also indicators. 

A patient can rapidly deteriorate if sepsis is missed early on, so quick diagnosis and treatment is vital – yet this rarely happens. 

In the early stages, sepsis can be mistaken for a chest infection, flu or upset stomach. 

It is most common and dangerous in older adults, pregnant women, children younger than one, people with chronic conditions or those who have weakened immune systems.  

The six signs of something potentially deadly can be identified by the acronym ‘SEPSIS’:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine in a day
  • Severe breathlessness
  • Skin that’s mottled or discoloured  

Anyone who develops any of these symptoms should seek medical help urgently — and ask doctors: ‘Could this be sepsis?’ 

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