Still smil­ing

< Con­tin­ued from pre­vi­ous page

Chat - - Chat -

Steve gripped my ban­daged hand, and the girls sobbed as the news hit us.

I’d lose both my hands and my legs.

I’d been a hair­dresser for years, loved baking, be­ing creative.

It was hard to imag­ine not hav­ing hands.

Never mind los­ing my legs.

‘You can even­tu­ally get pros­thet­ics...’ the doc­tor started.

But I didn’t need con­vinc­ing.

Even in my mud­dled state, I knew I didn’t have a choice if I wanted to sur­vive. It was life – or limbs. ‘If it’ll save my life, get on with it,’ I said bluntly.

By now my hands were so black, they hung from my wrists like dead weights.

I couldn’t sign a con­sent form for quadru­ple am­pu­ta­tion, so Gemma did it on my be­half.

I was trans­ferred to Bed­ford Hospi­tal – where, this Fe­bru­ary, I was taken to theatre.

‘Look af­ter my mum,’ Gemma pleaded as they wheeled me down.

Dur­ing the seven-hour op, sur­geons re­moved all my limbs in one fell swoop.

When I woke up, the whole fam­ily were there once more. And I just felt calm. ‘Hello, dar­lings,’ I said. ‘Are you all right?’ Gemma was sob­bing.

‘What are you cry­ing for?’ I asked.

‘It’s a sad day,’ she said.

‘Is it?’ I smiled. ‘I’m alive, aren’t I?’

The sep­sis was gone.

Look­ing down at my four, ban­daged stumps, I felt re­lieved.

I knew that I had a long road ahead of me.

But I was just so grate­ful to be alive, I didn’t care that I’d lost my limbs.

In March, I had another op to re­move dead tis­sue from my wrists.

Mean­while, the girls are fundrais­ing to buy me top-ofthe-range pros­thetic hands and legs.

It won’t be easy, but I’ll do ev­ery­thing the phys­io­ther­a­pists say.

I’ve been of­fered coun­selling, but, at the mo­ment, I don’t need it. If any­thing, I feel grate­ful.

I haven’t even shed a tear! Af­ter all, Steve could’ve been fly­ing me home in a cof­fin.

It’s all still a bit of a blur, to be hon­est, and I’m not quite sure what my life will be like. I’ll likely need a wheelchair. But I’ll wear my wedding ring on a neck­lace, and find a way to do all the things I love. Life will be dif­fer­ent. But at least I’m still here to live it.

They could’ve been fly­ing me home in a cof­fin

With Steve... I’m just so glad to be here!

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.