A Missouri mother who spent more than one month in the hospital said she lost all 10 toes, a hand, and several fingers on the other hand.
Racheal Acuff, who was reportedly hospitalized in June 2018, first noticed blood in her urine. She said, “I had no symptoms of pneumonia and I only knew of the kidney infection when I peed blood,” according to The Sun.
“Once I got to the hospital everything started happening really fast after they took my blood pressure which was so low it almost didn’t register,” Acuff, 32, told MDW Features.
She said that hospital staff “moved me to a room right away and began running a list of tests. The last thing I remember was being told they were moving me upstairs and then I was sedated for three weeks. When I woke up my mom explained to me that I had septic shock, DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation) and toxic shock syndrome from an unknown source.”
The mother was told that she went into septic shock due to pneumonia, which led to DIC, a blood clotting disorder.
Acuff said she was given four antibiotics in the intensive care unit of the hospital, adding that she was also placed on a feeding tube, dialysis, and a ventilator. She was moved out of the ICU and sent home after 46 days.
“I was on a ventilator which was helping me breathe, a feeding tube for all my nutrients, a port-a-cath for my dialysis because my kidneys were no longer working and two IVs for access for blood and to give me all my meds,” she told the paper. “I remember hearing my family cry when the doctors told them to bring in family to say their last goodbyes, but I was sedated and had no way to respond to them.”
In that state, she recalled, “I felt totally helpless, but I knew I had to fight to prove them wrong. I didn’t feel like I was dying, and I wasn’t going to.”
From August until May of this year, she underwent several amputation procedures.
Acuff said that her faith has grown stronger and has adapted to “soak up every moment good and bad.”
“There is no medical reason I should be alive,” she told the news outlet. “So, something more powerful is in my corner for sure.”
She is sharing her story to encourage others to speak up for their own health.
“The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection. Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems,” according to the medical website.
Sepsis can progress to septic shock, which can be fatal, the website states.
“Most often, sepsis occurs in people who are hospitalized or who have recently been hospitalized. People in the intensive care unit are especially vulnerable to developing infections, which can then lead to sepsis. If you develop signs and symptoms of sepsis after surgery or after being hospitalized, seek medical care immediately,” the clinic states.
Toxic shock, meanwhile, is a rare condition that can also be deadly.
“Often toxic shock syndrome results from toxins produced by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, but the condition may also be caused by toxins produced by group A streptococcus (strep) bacteria,” the Mayo Clinic states.