Brit woman who had all limbs chopped off to have ultra-rare op put hands back

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A Brit woman is set to undergo a rare double hand transplant after she lost her limbs to sepsis when she dropped ill from a common bladder infection.

Kim Smith, 61, horrifyingly had to have her hands and legs amputated after she contracted the infection while on holiday in Spain with her husband Steve, 63.

The mum said she felt like she "was going to die" after waking up to intense back pain and a fever in 2017.

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She was diagnosed with sepsis after her husband rushed her to a hospital in Elda, Spain, where they put her in an induced coma for six weeks.

Kim was flown back home to England, where she spent another three weeks unconscious in Milton Keynes Hospital.

She was then taken to Bedford Hospital for the major surgery and spent over three months recovering, before attending Queen Mary's Hospital, in Roehampton, for rehabilitation.

Kim, from Walnut Tree, Milton Keynes, said: "For almost six months, I was just in bed until I got to go to rehab. I didn't know how to sit up as my muscles had just gone. It was horrible!

"I could see that it was obvious that my limbs needed to be amputated. When the doctor said it I just said 'yes that's fine. Get it done!'

"I knew enough to see they were useless and that nothing else could be done."

She is currently on the waiting list for a double hand transplant at Leeds General Infirmary, which has successfully performed 14 life-changing transplants since 2016.

Kim, who used to work as a hairdresser and cannot work since the amputation, says she misses her hands most of all as she cannot do things for herself.

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Husband Steve, who was a vehicular collection and delivery driver before Kim's illness, is now Kim's main carer.

After the transplant, Kim hopes to be able to cook, sew and do everything for herself again.

The preparation for a transplant includes ensuring Kim has immunity to a range of illnesses and is currently awaiting chicken pox vaccinations, which is the last step in her preparation.

She added: "The doctors did an X-ray on me just two days before I was admitted, but as nothing was broken, they sent me away.

"I had absolutely no idea what sepsis was or how serious it is. It's absolutely vital everyone knows how devastating sepsis is and how it can kill people so quickly."

"I believe I was saved to use my voice and to share my shocking story to help save others' lives.

"I get an awful lot of people saying I'm an inspiration, I deserve an MBE or OBE or that they couldn't cope with this, but you just have to get on with life.

"I have an amazing husband & family who have helped me through without their love & support things would be very different I'm sure."

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