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This Grandpa’s Common Bad Habit Landed Him In The ER With Sepsis

Ricky Kennedy

Ricky Kennedy, a husband, father of four, and grandfather. He and his wife live a simple life in Westcliff, Dumbarton, which is in Scotland. The couple was congregants at St. Augustine’s Episcopal church on Dumbarton High Street. They also sing in the choir together. Ricky’s musical talent didn’t stop with singing; he also played the guitar.

A Heart Attack?

Ricky had a brush with death, and it was unknown whether he would live or die. It all started when his wife, Ghislaine, got home, and found her husband on the floor, clutching his chest. He was sure that he was having a heart attack, and the pain was so bad that it made it difficult for him to move.

Rushed To the Hospital

Ghislaine called 911, and Ricky was rushed to the hospital. After an examination, the doctors discovered that he was battling sepsis, and he had a 50 percent chance of survival. His illness spread quickly, and the doctors had to treat Ricky quickly before he went into septic shock or organ failure.

Searching For the Cause

The doctors wanted to treat Ricky as aggressively as possible, but they also wanted to figure out the cause of his condition. They asked Ghislaine if her husband has injured himself recently. She told them that he did develop a small blister on his thumb, but he had already gone through a course of antibiotics to clear up any infection. Despite being on antibiotics, Ricky’s illness began with that blister. It had become infected, and it caused the sepsis to spread through his body. It wasn’t the blister that had the doctors concerned; it was the cause of it. Ricky developed the blister due to a bad habit, and the doctors were worried that he wouldn’t be able to break the habit, preventing this type of infection from occurring again.

The Initial Blister

The blister that Ricky developed that led to his sepsis was caused when Ricky was playing the guitar. Blisters are not uncommon for guitar players, but to be on the safe side, he went to see his doctor. The doctor saw the blister and saw what appeared to be an infection, so he prescribed the antibiotics. The doctor had no idea that a much more severe problem was going to occur.

The True Cause Of His Sepsis

It turned out that the actual cause of Ricky’s sepsis was that he was a nail biter. He had bitten his nail very low, and when he played the guitar, it turned into a blister. Because he had a habit of biting his nails, an infection began, which quickly spread through his body. The infection became so severe that Ricky didn’t remember anything leading up to his trip to the hospital. He didn’t even know that the doctors only gave him a 50 percent of survival.

Weeks Of Treatment

Treating Ricky’s condition wasn’t something that happened in just a day or two. It took weeks for the doctors to get the sepsis under control. When the doctors determined that Ricky had sepsis, he was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital’s infection disease ward. It was the only facility of its kind in Scotland. The doctors started treatment that they hoped would save Ricky’s life. While his life hung in the balance, Ricky’s family stood by him, praying for him to get better.

He Never Thought About His Bad Habit

Ricky says that he had been biting his nails for years, and he never expected it to come close to killing him. According to The Verge, thirty percent of the population has the same bad habit as Ricky, but most never end up fighting for their lives.

Why Do People Bite Their Nails?

According to experts, there are a few reasons why people bite their nails. Some bite their nails out of boredom, some bite them when they are tired, and some bit their nails when they are worried. In most cases, when a person bites their nails, they don’t even think about it before they do it, they just do it naturally.

Ricky’s Reason

Ricky cannot think of a reason why he bites his nails. He says that he has just been doing it for as long as he can remember. He never thought that it would lead to him coming close to death.


For Ricky, the road to recovery wasn’t an easy one. He was in the hospital from January until May 2018. When he was released, he wasn’t out of the woods yet. He had to continue taking antibiotics for another two months. He was also suffering from frequent bouts of severe pain, similar to what he felt when he was taken to the hospital during his initial attack. The sepsis also caused chronic conditions, including sepsis and arthritis. It also eroded his collarbone, and he had to have surgery. This grandpa’s common bad habit landed him in the ER with sepsis, and almost cost him his life.

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