For our Jess

September 4, 2019

To honour the memory of Jess McEnroe – who tragically died in 2017 from sepsis, aged 26 years old – her colleagues at Drummond Central have raised more than £53,000 for charity. Managing director Dan Appleby explains more

Two years ago, no one at Drummond Central had even heard of sepsis. We were blissfully ignorant of a disease that kills more people than breast, bowel and prostate cancer combined.

That was before we lost our Jess. Jessica McEnroe (or J-Mac) worked as an account manager in our client services department for six years and was part of the team responsible for bet365’s global marketing and advertising.

She joined straight from university and was part of our family, woven into the fabric of the agency. Colourful and loud, bold and sharp, funny as hell and hard as nails, Jess was the life and soul of our agency. She lifted everyone around her and was the kind of person I hope everyone gets to work with.

Jess suffered from a very rare illness called Mixed Connective Tissue Disease, which meant her immune system was slowly attacking her body. This often led to emergency admissions to hospital, time away from work and lots of different treatments to manage the condition.

Although this exhausted Jess, she approached life stoically and always with a smile. Even when she was in pain.

Unexpectedly, after celebrating a pre-birthday meal with her family, Jess was taken to hospital feeling unwell. Within 12 hours, on September 8, 2017, she had died of sepsis – ten hours short of her 27th birthday.

Jess was one of 52,000 people who die in the UK from sepsis each year. In fact, one person dies every 3.5 seconds globally. And yet, too few of us appreciate the number of people it affects (over 250,000 in the UK each year) or know what it actually is or how to recognise the symptoms. What’s worse is that sepsis is preventable if caught early enough.

To honour Jess, we felt we had to do something meaningful. So we set ourselves the challenge of raising £50k for The UK Sepsis Trust. The charity exists with an ultimate goal to end all preventable deaths from sepsis and improve outcomes for survivors. They believe that earlier diagnosis and treatment across the UK would save at least 14,000 lives a year.

Over the last two years, our team, families, friends and corporate partners have thrown themselves into a whole range of fundraising activities. We’ve organised pub quizzes, opened an office bar in Jess’s name (she’d have loved J-Mac’s), dragged ourselves through 10Ks, half-marathons, ultra-marathons and Tough Mudders, thrown ourselves out of planes and had our heads shaved. Some of us have also baked cakes and played golf. As a business, Drummond Central committed to matching anything that our people and friends managed to raise, and I’m delighted to say that as of August 2019, we’ve raised over £53,000.

We hope what we’ve done so far can help The UK Sepsis Trust make some steps towards raising awareness, so that people don’t have to go through what we did when we lost Jess. We miss her very much, and this has been our way of making sure her memory lives on.

We know she’d be proud of what we’ve achieved in her name.

Drummond Central
Drummond Central is an award- winning creative and digital marketing agency that helps ambitious businesses drive revenue and growth.

The UK Sepsis Trust works to raise awareness, educate health professionals and support those affected by sepsis.

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