Amanda Flores was a healthy, active 33-year-old mother of two young boys. When she started developing flu-like symptoms, she made an appointment with her doctor and didn’t think twice about it.
On Dec. 24, 2014, her symptoms worsened; she was having difficulty breathing and wasn’t able to hold down any of her food. Her doctor referred her to go to the emergency room. This obviously was not a normal flu.
As Flores was waiting to be admitted into the ER, she stopped breathing and her blood pressure quickly dropped. She had to be resuscitated.
As doctors performed test after test, her condition worsened. Her organs were shutting down and she had to be put on dialysis as her kidneys began to shut down.
Doctors finally decided that Flores was in septic shock and was experiencing respiratory failure.
Sepsis happens when bacteria spreads into the bloodstream, which then causes the body’s immune system to go into overdrive. It progresses very quickly and can be deadly.
Sepsis can happen from any bacterial infection. In Flores’ case, it was strep throat.
Flores was transferred to the the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where she remained unconscious for over a week. Her family and friends showered her with prayers and support. She eventually began showing signs of recovery.
While that gave her family hope, the medications that were keeping her alive were also restricting blood flow to her limbs. The reality of amputation was devastating to this active mother of two.
Just over a week later, both of her legs were amputated above the knee. Her hands were amputated above the wrists soon after. Her family set up a YouCaring account and raised over $58,000 to help cover the prosthetic limbs she now needed, as well as other medical costs.
Despite the setbacks, Flores remained motivated to recover so she could come home to her two sons.
She went through intensive therapy so she could relearn how to do simple tasks that we all take for granted. She was able to come home just three months later. Just in time for Easter!
Flores has taken time to rest and continue to recover since. She received new arm and leg prosthetics in 2016 and is learning how to use them in her daily life.
She is definitely a fighter! She fought not only for her her own life, but also so that she could be a part of her sons’ lives.
Flores isn’t keeping her story to herself, either. She is using her story to bring awareness to the dangers of sepsis and to encourage others to ask their doctors about it.
“The problem is that not enough doctors and hospitals realize that sepsis is what is wrong and every hour that it goes undiagnosed your chances of dying increase tremendously,” Flores said in a Facebook post. “By the time they realized what was wrong with me I had less than a 15% chance of surviving. I am one of the lucky ones, most are not.”
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