Carol Love was found lying unresponsive by her son Bryan on February 4 and rushed to the renal unit (ward 1) at the hospital where she was diagnosed with sepsis as well as disseminated intravascular coagulation.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that arises when the body’s response to infection causes injury to its own tissues and organs, while DIC is a condition in which small blood clots develop throughout the bloodstream, blocking small blood vessels.
It would be the end of February before Carol had any idea she was in hospital and says she had no idea she was so ill.
She said: “My friend Helen came round on February 2 and she says I made us tomato on toast and there was no indication I was so ill.”
Carol was put on dialysis for 14 days, but the damage to her body was such that the doctors had no option but to amputate her legs with surgery being carried out at University Hospital Hairmyres in April.
She said: “The staff at Monklands were so good with me, I’m told they had never seen anyone so ill with both sepsis and DIC survive and started calling me a ‘miracle’.
“They were in a very tough position, but everyone was wonderful with me from the doctors and nurses to the cleaning staff, and I can’t say enough good things about them.
“At one point I wasn’t breathing well and my family wanted me ventilated, but the staff warned if they did that I would never breathe on my own again, which is a tough decision to make when faced with worried family members, but every decision they made was the right one.
“I have lost my legs, but at least I’m still here, I just say the staff at Hairmyres were fantastic too, but the staff at Monklands will always hold a special place in my heart and as soon as I was able I sent them a big cake.”
Carol will return to hospital later this month to have several of her fingers removed.
She said: “I don’t think it has hit me yet what has happened, I don’t have any memories from Christmas until I woke up in hospital, the whole of January is a complete blank.
“I was always very active and would walk my dog four miles every day so there is a lot of adjusting to do and after the next round of surgery I will just concentrate on getting better.
“I will never say ‘why me?’ because that would suggest I’d rather it had happened to someone else, my only question is ‘why then?’, what happened to make me so ill?”