Woman Wakes Up Hours Before Family Was to End Life Support

Kent had lost hope that his wife would survive after he found her sick on the bathroom floor and doctors said the medication she needed to keep her organs functioning would likely result in her sacrificing her arms and legs.

Kent and his son, Ryan, watched helplessly for weeks as Teri’s tongue swelled and the tip of her nose, hands and feet turned black. 

“It just wasn’t getting any better,” Kent explains.

“We came to the conclusion as a family that the next day we were going to remove her from life support,” Ryan says.

That morning, Teri’s fever was 104 degrees, and her blood pressure was extremely low.

“It was a signal that we’re going to make the right decision here,” Kent says.

Kent held his wife's hand as doctors put a cooling blanket over her to help bring down her temperature.

That’s when she opened her eyes.

“I said, 'You are very sick. You are in the hospital,'” Kent recalls. “I said, 'Do you want to stay here and live?' and she nodded her head, yes.”

Teri underwent the surgery to have both her arms and legs amputated and began a long process to adjust to her new life, but her spirit has remained positive.

“I just thought, ‘OK, this is it,’” Teri recalls. “'I can either sit here and feel sorry for myself or just pick myself up and move forward. There’s life to live, and that’s what I’m going to live.’”

OB-GYN Dr. Jennifer Ashton explains that Teri had group A strep, which led to sepsis, which is caused when bacteria gets into the bloodstream and spreads throughout the body. Medication can lower the blood pressure to help prevent the infection from reaching and shutting down the vital organs, but if the arms and legs don't receive enough blood, the tissue can die and the limbs have to be amputated.

Teri says she believes the ordeal began when she cut herself while shaving.

Travis warns that any time you have a break in the skin, which is the body's biggest immune system, and you notice a bump, redness, swelling or a fever, you shouldn't ignore it, because an infection can get into the bloodstream and very quickly spiral out of control.

Now, Teri is in rehab, building strength and preparing to have prosthetics fitted.

“Teri has got the type of attitude, she just doesn’t give up at all,” Kent says.

“I think what Teri shows us is it’s not about your hands and your feet, it’s about your heart and your soul,” Dr. Ashton says. “You are so inspiring.”

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