A gran who went into hospital with kidney stones had all four of her limbs amputated after being infected with sepsis.
Distraught Mandy Parkin, 54, thought she had appendicitis when she first sought help two months ago but was soon told her condition was much more serious.
Doctors diagnosed the cleaning company owner with kidney stones and just hours later she was told she had sepsis, a potentially life-threatening condition.
Things went from bad to worse when Mandy suffered organ failure and went into septic shock, which left doctors with no choice but to put her into an induced coma.
When she woke up in mid-July Mandy’s limbs had become black, as a result of blood clots caused by the sepsis blocking her blood from flowing properly.
On July 19 surgeons removed both her hands and her feet were amputated three weeks later.
Mandy has also been left partially deaf as a result of the life-saving drugs used on her.
The grandmother-of-three from Barnsley, South Yorks, remains in hospital but has adopted an unbelievably positive attitude over the horrific ordeal.
Speaking from her hospital bed, she said: “The whole experience has been incredibly challenging to say the least.
“I have never let any of this get me down though, I was able to just take it on board somehow.
“There’s no point in me sitting here saying ‘it’s not fair’ is there? Where would that get me?
“It won’t make my arms and legs grow back.
“In one way I’m actually enjoying the new and different challenges that I’m facing everyday.
“I get a kick out of little bits of progress I’m making, like if I have a good physio session or something.”
Mandy continues to undergo physical and psychological therapy on a daily basis and doctors have not yet told her when she’ll be able to return home.
Her family say before she fell ill Mandy was a “fiercely independent” woman who loved spending time with her family, including partner Steven Farr, 55.
She ran a small cleaning business and loved spending time outside with her dog or going on bike rides.
Mandy said: “Before this happened I was working all the time and socialising, just living a normal life really.
“I hope and believe that in six months time I’ll have prosthetic limbs and be back to living a normal life again.
“Obviously everything has changed in the last few months.
“I don’t want this to be a permanent situation.
“I’m quite stubborn so I think I’ll get there.”
She added: “The next step for me is to keep making progress and getting on with my life.
“Hopefully I can get back to where I was.
“The loss of hearing has been more difficult than the amputations, because I’m struggling to communicate.
“But I know that I’ll be able to hear again soon with the help of a hearing aid.”
Mandy’s son Robert, 31, has stopped work at a Virgin Media call centre to spend more time with his mum in hospital.
He said: “This ordeal has been incredibly difficult for us.
“It’s so painful to see your mum in that position, so unwell.
“But her unbelievable strength has helped me a lot, it’s given me my own strength.”
Robert and his family are fundraising for Mandy’s aftercare on crowdfunding site GoFundMe.
Donate to their campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/zbuuq-help-us-help-mandy