Sunday, March 6, 2011

Texas quad amputee predicts a good life ahead

From Fox 4 News:

DALLAS - A young woman who had to have all of her arms and legs amputated now has a positive attitude that is helping her recover.

Eighteen-year-old Whitney Mitchell went to the hospital last fall thinking she had the flu.

“I was dizzy. I had a headache,” she said.

But doctors determined she was septic. The tissue in her arms and legs was dying. They had to remove parts of all of them to give her a chance of survival.

“Of course at first when they told me that I was really upset, but I told myself I can’t just lay here and dwell in the sadness. I have to go on,” Mitchell said.

The college student never imagined that her trip to the hospital would turn into months of medical procedures and rehabilitation.

Mitchell hopes to finally leave rehab later this month. But the learning adventure continues when she heads home. She’ll have to re-learn the basics like brushing her teeth and navigating with her new body.

Before her arms and legs were taken from her, her dream was to dance. She was working on a career in performing arts.

“My plan really hasn’t changed. I’m still planning to go back to school and finish what I was doing,” Mitchell said.

It won’t be easy. Prosthetic limbs cost tens of thousands of dollars and insurance only covers a fraction of that.

But during this journey, Mitchell’s mother has seen the determination in her oldest child.

“We’re falling apart everywhere and she still had that positive attitude. She stayed like that all the way through,” said Patricia Kirven.

Mitchell said she expects the life that lies ahead of her will be even better than before despite the challenges.

“The thing is you never know what’s going to happen. Tomorrow is not promised. Live each day like it’s the last,” she said.