A DISTRAUGHT family are raising funds to help a Dudley mother-of-three who spent her 30th birthday in a coma after contracting potentially deadly sepsis.

Samantha Priest, from Dudley, was rushed to Russells Hall Hospital earlier this month after falling ill with streptacoccus pneumonia.

Tests showed that Samantha was also suffering from sepsis and medics placed her into a coma to save her life.

During this time, the young mum was fitted to an ECMO machine to clear the toxins from her blood and then was transferred to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for more treatment.

Samantha gained consciousness a week ago but is still in a critical condition.

Her sister, Joanna Priest, says Samantha's life still hangs in the balance, as the condition has left her with only half of a left lung.

Her speech is also limited due to having a tracheotomy fitted and she has lost a toe on her left foot that was poisoned by sepsis.

Joanna, who lives in Brierley Hill, said: "She's currently on medication to soften her lungs as they have stiffened up. She needs to breath by herself again."

The 27-year-old and her partner Phillip Reece, have launched a Go Fund Me appeal to raise funds to help much-loved Samantha.

Joanna explained: "We are trying to raise money in GoFundMe for when she comes home as she will need carers and equipment. She is mother of three young children aged 9, 8 and 3.

"Fingers crossed if she pulls through, the money will be for equipment for when she gets home.

"If she doesn't, it will be for her kids and funeral costs."

Her family are not giving up on the hope that Samantha will make a recovery, but Joanna is aware that her future life may be very different as she may need to use a wheelchair.

Joanna added: "She might not have her legs, she might be disabled."

To make a donation to help Samantha, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-for-sam-and-her-3-children