A Texas woman “chooses to be happy” after suffering the amputation of her “mummified” hands and feet due to sepsis

As a veteran high school teacher, Sherri Moody was used to catching a cold about once a year. So when she started feeling sick during a field trip with her students, it wasn’t a big deal to her.

But after a few days, the flu-like symptoms became frightening. Moody was lethargic and had a high fever. She was vomiting and had trouble breathing.

Finally, she woke up her husband in the middle of the night and He told her she had to go to the hospital..

Sherri Moody, before suffering from strep infection.Courtesy Sherri Moody

“I had never been to the emergency room in my life,” said Moody, 51, who lives in the suburbs of Houston, Texas. “She was very healthy, very fit. She ate well, she exercised.”

Her husband, David, still remembers the “shock “total and absolute” of what happened next. Doctors told him he had double pneumonia – an infection that affects both lungs – caused by the bacteria. Streptococcus.

According to the Sepsis Alliance, this caused sepsis, the body’s vital response to an infection, and a shock septicemia, a dangerous drop in blood pressure and the most serious phase of sepsis.

I had to Google what sepsis was.. She had no idea. “We are pretty healthy people,” said David Moody, 53 years old.

“I realized very quickly that we were in a serious situation. “I was very scared.”

A “perfect storm”

Doctors don’t know if Sherri Moody was infected with strep during that trip to an amusement park in April 2023 or if it was a mere coincidence, the couple said.

Up to 87% of sepsis cases begin with infections people get at work, school or home, the Sepsis Alliance said. Even a kidney stone can cause sepsis.

Two days after going to the emergency room, his kidneys and lungs began to fail, a complication of the shock septic, David Moody recalled.

Teacher loses arms and legs to sepsis
Sherri Moody at the hospital.Courtesy Sherri Moody

To make matters worse, before the emergency, Sherri Moody was taking rheumatoid arthritis medication. The drug relieves the symptoms of this immune system disorder by suppressing it, which can reduce a person’s ability to fight infections.

Sherri Moody called her situation “the perfect storm.”

“Was as if a category 5 hurricane arrived“added David Moody. “I had nothing to fight with. It is as if he went to a war without soldiers.”

Doctors placed the professor in an induced coma and gave her powerful drugs in the intensive care unit, including vasopressors, which are used to combat dangerously low blood pressure, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

But when these medications drove blood to his vital organs, they did so at the expense of circulation in his extremities. Within days, her limbs began to change color, her husband recalled.

“I literally saw my wife’s feet and hands die,” said David Moody. “They were black and mummified.”

When she was brought out of her coma, David Moody told her that doctors had saved her life, but could not save her limbs. She cried, but Sherri Moody remembered that she felt calm.

(Medicine that reduces allergic reactions to certain foods is approved)

You legs were amputated below the knee in June 2023 and arms below the elbows the following month. She returned home in August after spending four months in the hospital, and one month in a rehabilitation center.

Teacher loses arms and legs to sepsis
“(Sherri) hasn’t lost her personality.”Courtesy Sherri Moody

“I choose to be happy”

There have been many complications and subsequent surgeries that are delaying his ability to use prosthetics. A wound nurse comes to her home three days a week, and doctor appointments are constant.

For now, the teacher uses an electric wheelchair to get around. She has a band on her arm to insert a fork and eat. She is frustrated by losing her independence and not being able to pursue simple pleasures, like baking, but she focuses on being optimistic.

“I am very strong mentally”, he said.. “I simply choose to be happy. (…) That doesn’t mean that from time to time I don’t have a crisis and cry a little. (But) I don’t let it last long.”

(They warn about the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease, common among children)

“It’s just incredible. I have had more difficulties,” said David Moody. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through in my life.”

Teacher loses arms and legs to sepsis
Sherri and David Moody are high school sweethearts.Courtesy Sherri Moody

Next up is a complex surgical procedure to repair persistent gangrene problems in his kneecaps. If she is not successful, doctors will have to amputate her legs above the knees, reducing her chances of being able to walk with prosthetics.

The couple comforts each other and has the support of their community, which has rallied to help the family with fundraisers and updates on a Facebook page dedicated to Sherri Moody.

We talk about our blessings. We talk about the things that are going well in our day, in our lives,” said David Moody.

“I’m so much stronger than I ever thought I was,” Sherri Moody added.