Everyday Hero: Amputee Warrior Woman

Jenny McCarthy, an advocate for parents with Autistic children, along with Oprah, share the story of a true Mother Warrior who says, “that things are as they are, and you have to move forward. Life goes on.”

After going through a painful divorce, Monica met Tony when she least expected it. Monica already had a 9-year-old daughter, but soon after she and Tony got engaged, they were thrilled to be expecting a baby. In August 2007, she had a C-section, and delivered a healthy baby girl. But hours after Sofia was born, Monica began running a fever. Three days later the fever still hadn’t broken and Monica’s abdomen was swollen and painful.

She was flown to a hospital in Boston where she was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating bacteria. Defying the odds, Monica survived, but many of her organs didn’t. Within four weeks, Monica’s infection had restricted the blood flow to her arms and legs and they had to amputate both arms and both legs. The surgery sounded scary, but Monica was determined to put it behind her and get back to her daughters.

Monica has endured 37 surgeries and grueling rehabilitation. “She’s a fighter,” her husband says. “If they told her two hours of physical therapy a day, she’d ask to double it up to four. She wanted to come home as soon as possible. … They didn’t think she’d ever walk again, but she made it happen.” Tony says that there was never even a moment when he considered leaving Monica. “She was the same person inside, so nothing had changed,” he says

Monica’s been adjusting to her new life for a little over a year. All mothers face frustrations, but Monica’s come with tasks that used to be simple. “Everything is different—things as simple as picking up a pen or signing a paper.” Monica hasn’t let any of these obstacles stop her from living her life to the fullest.” She says that her strength comes from her support system. “I’ve come to the realization that things are as they are, and you have to move forward. Life goes on,” she says. “There’s no sense dwelling on it—that just hurts too much and you don’t live your life the way you want to. And with a wonderful husband and two great girls, life is fun.”

Source: Oprah’s Everyday Heroes

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