SOMERSET and England cricketer Jack Leach has opened up about his harrowing battle with life-threatening Sepsis during Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week.

In a candid account shared with the UK Sepsis Trust, Leach discussed the illness and touched on specific moments that left him questioning whether he would wake up.

Leach, diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of 14, is particularly vulnerable to infections due to medications he takes to control his condition.

Despite being a professional athlete, he emphasises the importance of listening to one's body and working collaboratively with the disease rather than against it.

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Leach looking at the Somerset Cricket honours board.Leach looking at the Somerset Cricket honours board. (Image: Ark Media)

During a tour in New Zealand in 2019, Leach, aged 32, contracted sepsis after playing the first test match. His compromised immune system, a result of treatment for his Crohn’s disease, made him more susceptible.

After eating a chicken burger, Leach experienced severe symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhoea, and a high temperature. Despite initial attempts to manage the situation with over-the-counter medications, his condition rapidly deteriorated.

In a critical moment, Leach realized the severity of his situation: "I remember thinking, don't fall asleep. You won't wake up."

Rushed to a medical centre by the England team doctor, he was transferred to a hospital where he received antibiotics and fluids to treat sepsis. The experience, initially perceived as a common illness, turned into a life-threatening emergency. Leach said: “For a very long period through the night and that morning it felt like just a fever and sickness and a bug. And then really quickly, it started to feel like something different.”

While he was discharged from hospital after just two days, reflecting on a period of illness on the team’s subsequent tour in South Africa, Leach acknowledges the toll sepsis had on his physical and mental well-being.

Leach said: “For what I now know about sepsis, trying to play in an international cricket tour and take full part and just brush it under the carpet like it never happened, that was obviously wrong.”

Jack Leach is now dedicated to promoting awareness of sepsis, encouraging everyone to familiarise themselves with the signs and to treat it as a medical emergency.

"I feel very lucky to get through sepsis and live to tell the story,” said Leach.

UKST Founder & Joint CEO Dr Ron Daniels said: “As part of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, Jack Leach's story is a call to action, urging individuals to ‘Just ask: Could it be sepsis?’ if something doesn’t feel right.

"We’re so grateful to Jack for using his platform to raise vital awareness of this life-threatening, but often treatable condition. His story shows anyone could develop sepsis from an infection.”