Grandfather left fighting for his life after developing sepsis from biting nails

We all know somebody who bites their nails. It’s very common among children and teenagers, who usually grow out of it.

But some continue into adulthood, with about 20 to 30 percent of the population being nail biters.

Aside from ugly nails, biting your nails is seemingly harmless but a dad-of-four from Scotland is now urging all nail biters to stop after it led to him fighting for his life in hospital.


Grandpa Ricky Kennedy was a prolific nail biter and never though anything of his habit until one day he found himself screaming in pain.

The 57-year-old had bit his nails so much he’d accidentally damaged the nail bed and caused a blister on his thumb.

It looked completely harmless at first, but afterward, it left Ricky in hospital for months, fighting for his life.

He first went to a doctor complaining of some pain and was treated with antibiotics for 4 days. But then he found himself suffering extreme pain in his neck and shoulder forcing his wife to call paramedics.

“He was delirious, he was shivering, his temperature was sky high,” his wife Ghislaine Kennedy told UK TV show “This Morning.”

‘Lucky to be alive’

The doctor who saw him realized it was Sepsis, an extreme reaction of the body to a bacterial infection.

This life-threatening condition occured because Ricky developed a local infection from biting his nails and his body overreacted to it.

Ricky, from Dumbarton, was given a 50 percent chance of survival and spent months in hospital. Thankfully he survived but has been left with an eroded collarbone, septic arthritis and asthma.

He told the Daily Record: “I’m lucky to be alive. I may never be as healthy or strong as I was but I’m still here with my family and that is very precious to me.”

Find out more about Ricky’s terrifying ordeal in the video below. 

What a scary situation nail biting left this man in! We wish him all the best in his recovery.

Please share this story with all the nail biters you know.