Woman Loses Fingers After Life-threatening Condition Causes Her Skin to Die

A 34-year-old mother from the United Kingdom has had her fingers amputated and faces the prospect of losing her legs after a kidney stone caused sepsis which, in turn, resulted in the skin on her arms and legs becoming necrotic.

Sadie Kemp from Peterborough believed that she was suffering from backache on Christmas Day while building toys, but by 5pm that day she was fighting for her life, The Mirror reported.

Just hours after sharing Christmas dinner with her family, including her two sons, Kenzie, 16, and Hendrix, two, Kemp collapsed in agonizing pain.

She told the paper: "I had decided to build a play kitchen I had bought for my youngest son. I thought my back was hurting from bending over and putting all the screws in but then my back pain got worse.

"I said I was going to go for a bath but half an hour later I was screaming in pain on the floor saying I felt like someone was squeezing my kidney."

Kemp was rushed to accident and emergency where she was given pain relief and told to return if the pain became worse. By the early hours of December 26, she had returned to A&E, where she collapsed as a result of septic shock.

Kemp was then placed in a medically induced coma and on life-support for two weeks.

The mother of two, who had been working as COVID Track and Trace officer, continued: "They had been pumping me full of medicines to keep my organs alive but the limbs furthest away had suffered.

"There was no blood supply to my arms and legs and the tissue had started to die."

Initially, doctors had told Kemp that they were going amputate all four limbs but the tissue of her arms began to recover. Despite the sepsis beginning to retreat, the condition had already progressed too far in Kemp's hands, and all 10 of her fingers had to be removed.

What remain's of the mother of two's hands will now be sown into her stomach in an attempt to keep the tissues alive. The Mirror reported that doctors must also now consider if they will amputate both feet or instead take both of Kemp's legs from below the knee.

What Is Sepsis?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) define sepsis as the body's extreme reaction to an infection, which can include a virus such as COVID-19. Sepsis occurs when bacteria or germs trigger a chain reaction throughout the body.

The Cleveland Clinic says inflammation and blood clotting during sepsis causes reduced blood flow to limbs and vital organs and can lead to organ failure and even death.

The CDC adds that rapid intervention improves the chance of successful treatment and survival, and this means that suspected cases of sepsis are considered a medical emergency. The CDC estimates that 1.7 million Americans will suffer sepsis each year, of these cases almost 270,000 will prove fatal.

The symptoms of the condition according to the CDC include a high blood rate or low blood pressure, fever or a shivering cold feeling, confusion, shortness of breath, and clammy or sweaty skin.

The CDC adds that Sepsis can also cause extreme pain like that suffered by Kemp.

A GoFundMe has been set up for Kemp (who can no longer work, as her job required her to drive across the U.K.) by one of her close friends, Stephanie King.

King wrote on the fundraising page: "We are trying to raise money to help cover bills, nursery fees for her youngest son and help with getting her advanced prosthetics so she can continue her life as normal as possible when she is home and recovered."

She added that she is currently awaiting an estimated cost for prosthetics for Kemp from a U.K. firm. At present, the page has raised over £13,000 ($17,693) of its £20,000 ($27,221) goal.

Because Kemp had been living with her sons in a house provided by a charity following her divorce, she said the fact that it has stairs and she is now disabled may leave her without a home.

Kemp told The Mirror: "I'm not earning money for my kids. They haven't got a roof over their heads and that makes me feel terrible. I just want to be there for them and give them some security."

Surgeons
A stock image of a group of surgeons performing an operation. A mother of two from the U.K. had her fingers amputated after a kidney stone caused sepsis. gorodenkoff/GETTY