Sepsis (popularly known as blood poisoning) is a devastating illness. It is as unknown as it is widespread: it is estimated to kill nearly 8000 people in Belgium every year. Sepsis survivors can bear the scars of their encounter with the illness for the rest of their lives.


Ilse Malfait is one such survivor. She spent 487 days in hospital, battling sepsis. In the end she beat the disease but she had to endure a nightmare to get through it. Her two lower legs and fingers were amputated. Afterwards, Ilse decided to raise awareness of sepsis in a variety of ways. She co-founded Sepsibel, an organization that draws attention to this silent killer. She also wrote down her breathtaking story of despair and resilience in a book, Elk uur telt (Every hour counts).


Ilse asked Manitoba to make a trailer for her book. Rather than stick to any of the usual formats for such a trailer (resorting to graphics, or a statement of the author) we decided to make a video that captures the horrors and the triumphs of Ilse’s run-in with the illness. The trailer dramatizes her life during and after sepsis, and is structured around the heartfelt testimony of Ilse herself.