I just felt God’s presence
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to an infection injures its own tissues and organs. Sepsis always starts with an infection. The body’s immune system – which normally helps to protect us and fight infection – goes into overdrive. Sepsis can lead to shock, multiple organ failure and sometimes death, especially if not recognised early and treated promptly. 5 people die from sepsis every hour in the UK. In 2015 I had sepsis and was successfully treated with intravenous anti-biotics.
On 1 December last year 41-year-old Cindy Mullins, who is married to DJ and has two young sons, and was very healthy, went into hospital in Kentucky for elective surgery on kidney stones. Following the surgery, the doctor left a temporary stent in her body to prevent blockage, which is common in kidney stone procedures. Cindy was told to remove the stent at home but soon after she did, she began to feel sick. When DJ found her collapsed on the bathroom floor, he rushed her to their local hospital in Stanford.
Cindy, who works as a nurse for a family medicine practice, knew her condition was serious. The doctors started IVs on both arms, and Cindy doesn’t remember anything after that. When the doctors performed tests on her, they discovered she had a kidney stone surrounded by infection, and that she was in septic shock with her organs starting to fail. She was transferred to a larger hospital in Lexington where the family was told she was in a very serious condition. Cindy was put on dialysis to help her kidneys, and an ECMO machine – a lifesaving device that removes carbon dioxide from the blood and sends back blood with oxygen to the body – to give her heart and lungs time to rest and heal.
When Cindy was conscious again, she was taken off the ventilator and was told both her legs and hands had deteriorated to the point they would require amputation. The following day she underwent surgery to amputate both legs above the knee. The surgery to amputate both hands below her elbow joints will follow. Cindy said, “When they told me what was going to happen, that I was going to lose my hands and my feet, I wasn’t angry. I had a peace about me. I just felt God’s presence saying, ‘It’s going to be OK. You’re alive. This is what has happened,’ and I wasn’t upset about it. I’m just so happy to be alive. These are the cards I’ve been dealt, and these are the hands I’m going to play.” In her hospital bed Cindy wore a tee-shirt with the words, “Smile, Jesus loves you” on it.”
by Peter Milsom