Shannon Smith's story not typical. After moving cross-country in 2006 to explore new opportunities, the young woman seemed to have it all. In 2008, she became the mother of a son and soon became a pharmaceutical technician. And in 2010, Smith discovered her family would be expanding. She was expecting her second son.
On December 5, 2010 at six months of pregnancy, Smith says she got up for work and was feeling under the weather, prompting her to take a detour to the hospital. Doctors performed a sonogram to check on the condition of the baby. What they found was alarming. Her son's heart rate was dangerously low. Smith was faced with the choice of continuing to carry her son in this condition and possibly lose her life or have an emergency Caeserean section. Like any mother, Smith chose the later.
From there, Smith says, "things spiraled out of control." After a dizzying series of events, Smith ended up on life support. She had sepsis (a deadly blood infection), pneumonia and blood clots in her arms and legs. On top of all of that, sadly, her son didn't survive the ordeal.
The mother lay in a coma for three weeks fighting for her life. When she awakened, Smith was on a ventilator to help her breath and her liver and kidneys were failing, requiring 24-hour dialysis. Then doctors gave her the grim news: they would have to amputate both arms and legs.
Forced to make another life-changing decision, Smith went through the procedure with courage. Now 17 surgeries later, Smith is alive, raising her 4-year-old, Oliver. She says prayer has gotten her through every day.
Unable to work, Smith now survives on Social Security and disability to care for herself and her son. Expectedly, she is unable to work.
Smith is now suing the hospital for her ordeal.
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