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Sepsis: Amputation ‘Will Not Change Woman’ Who Beat Coronavirus

July 16, 2020

A woman who had a quadruple amputation has said losing her hands and feet does “not change the person I am”.

Caroline Coster caught coronavirus in March but, after initially recovering, quickly ended up in Bedford Hospital with sepsis.

The 58-year-old, from Bedford, almost died twice after being put in a medically-induced coma.

“Being in a coma can best be described as it felt like I was trapped in a video game,” she said.

Her daughter, Hannah, said expecting to say goodbye to her mother had been “unimaginable”.

After recovering from “two horrible weeks” of Covid-19, Mrs Coster was diagnosed with a chest infection and told to go to hospital by her GP.

It was discovered she had developed sepsis, an extreme reaction to infection which causes vital organs to shut down.

Mrs Coster was in the coma for almost a month and doctors twice almost turned off her life-support machine.

Writing on her blog about being in a coma, she said: “When the game was switched off, so was I.

“When the game was switched on, my experience was disembodied white heads coming towards me and telling me ‘Caroline, Caroline, wake up’.”

The mother-of-two eventually began to recover but because doctors had redirected her blood flow to vital organs, her hands and feet had been deprived of blood and turned black.

She told the BBC her hands looked liked those of an “Egyptian mummy”.

“They were black and shrivelled,” she said. “I was so grateful to have my life that it wasn’t a huge jolt to lose those.”

On her blog, she added: “Losing my legs did not change the person that I am.”

Mrs Coster, who is due to start rehabilitation, is hoping to use hand and leg prosthetics but will have to raise money for specialised equipment, including a phone with facial recognition, a bathroom she can use independently and mobility aids.

She has also made plans to register her dog, Duke, as a therapy dog and wants to go back to the hospital with her so people can “see me as a recovered amputee”.

“I’ve never felt ‘why me?’, she said. “I’m just so aware of how fortunate I am.”

 

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