Sepsis Awareness Ambassador , Sepsis Survivor and Motivational Speaker
On the eve of the millenium, at the age of 38, Tom Ray suddenly became seriously ill with Sepsis. In a matter of hours, he fell into a coma. He woke up five months later to find that both his arms and both his legs and his face had been amputated. He had lost his memory and didn't recognise his family. Whilst he was unconscious, his wife had given birth to a baby boy.
Sixteen years on from the medical and personal crisis, he has rebuilt his life. As a public speaker about Sepsis and Managing Change, Tom reflects on his experience of facial reconstruction, physical and emotional rehabilitation, and the provision of robotic prosthetic limbs. Successfully managing this process of dynamic change and keeping his young family together proved to be the challenge of his life.
Tom is a confident, engaging presenter with an easy going, conversational style. He has worked in UK Corporate Banking with NatWest in London and Leicester, in Customer Service with Lands’ End in Oakham, Rutland and he is also a successful creative writer for the BBC.
He has also been heavily involved in ‘Starfish’ the feature film about his illness, recovery and rehabilitation, released in November 2016. The actor Tom Riley from TV’s ‘Da Vinci’s Demons’ plays Tom in the movie, with ‘Downton Abbey’s Joanne Froggatt taking the role of his wife Nicola. Tom describes the process of making the film as a ‘truly remarkable personal journey – a breath-taking healing experience’.
The key message of Tom’s incredible life story is that because our lives are brief and wholly unpredictable we need to put maximum effort into building and maintaining positive relationships with all those around us. Recognising our bad experiences as being as useful as the good ones allows us to focus positively on what truly gives our lives meaning.