Aberdeen's 'baking queen' endures 12 operations after contracting sepsis

Mechelle Clark became seriously ill after 20-hour reconstruction surgery and said the experience 'changed her life'.

An Aberdeen woman who developed sepsis after breast cancer reconstruction says the experience has been life-changing.

Mechelle Clark fell seriously ill after having a double mastectomy.

She’s had two years of constant operations but is now fundraising to raise awareness.

The 42-year-old baker – fondly known as Aberdeen’s ‘baking queen’ – discovered she had breast cancer in 2018 and underwent a double mastectomy in 2022.

But she developed complications following 20 hours of reconstruction surgery and became seriously ill after being diagnosed with sepsis.

She told STV News: “I was so hot, then freezing and shivering, vomiting constantly just everything not staying in the body.

“I was just dramatically ill and upset I couldn’t move myself up the bed. I was bedridden for months.

“Just a scary, scary time.”

Mechelle has tested positive for the BRCA1 gene variant.

Her cancer was discovered during an annual check-up.

Over the last two years she’s had 12 operations, has been rushed to hospital nine times with infections and is still undergoing surgery.

She said: “It has dramatically changed my life, yes. It’s difficult to say I’m thankful but it has changed my life in a lot of ways. I’m a lot more fearless.

“I don’t sweat the small stuff. It gives you a very big perspective on what is important and making sure the path forward is what I want to be doing instead of being dragged along.”

Michelle, who is a head baker at a coffee shop in Newburgh, says baking has helped her recovery.

She’s now rallied round her baking friends to help raise funds for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

They include some of the most well-known bakers in the city including Bandit Bakery, Sourcloud Bakes, Feingeback and The Crusty Slice in Aberdeen, plus The Highlanders Bakehouse in Crathie and The Culinary Kiwi Bird in Insch. The team at Parx Café will also make bread and goodies for the occasion. 

All of the bakers will donate their baked goods for the day for free to ensure as much money as possible can be raised for the unit which cared for her.

She said: “It’s the perfect thing for me to do with my skill set to give back to the hospital. The ward 214 it’s a ward of mothers.

“They loved seeing me and taking care of me. They have seen me more times than I can mention so this is the least I can do for them.

“I’ll never be able to thank them for what they have done for me. They saved my life on several occasions.”

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