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Texas Teacher Loses Arms and Legs After Sepsis 'Mummified' Her Limbs

Sherri Moody went into septic shock following a pneumonia infection, requiring doctors to amputate all four limbs to save her life

<p>GoFundMe</p> Quadruple amputee Sherri Moody with husband David Moody.

GoFundMe

Quadruple amputee Sherri Moody with husband David Moody.

A Texas teacher is adjusting to life without limbs after a strep infection caused her to go into septic shock — which required doctors to amputate her arms and legs to save her life.

Last April, Deer Park, Texas, high school teacher Sherri Moody started feeling sick following a school field trip — something she initially dismissed as a run-of-the-mill illness.

But when she started having trouble breathing, her husband David took her to the hospital, the couple told Today.com.

“I’ve never gone to the ER before in my life,” Sherri, 51, told the outlet. “I was very healthy, very in shape. I ate right, exercised.”

However, she had developed pneumonia in both lungs, caused by Streptococcus bacteria.

<p>KPRC 2 Click2Houston/YouTube</p> Sherri Moody and husband David Moody speak to Click2Houston.

KPRC 2 Click2Houston/YouTube

Sherri Moody and husband David Moody speak to Click2Houston.

Symptoms of Streptococcus pneumonia include fever and chills, cough, difficulty breathing, and chest pain, the CDC says, and explains that sepsis — defined as “the body’s extreme response to an infection” — is a risk of the illness.

Doctors then told the Moodys that Sherri had sepsis.

“I had to Google what sepsis was. I had no idea. We’re pretty healthy people,” David, 53, told the outlet. “I recognized real quick that we were in a severe situation. I was scared to pieces.”

Related: Mom Begs Doctors to Amputate After a 'Simple Scratch' on Her Thigh Leads to 55 Surgeries: 'I Just Want My Leg Off'

Complicating her prognosis was an immune-suppressing medication Sherri had been taking for rheumatoid arthritis.

“It was like a Category 5 hurricane coming in,” David told Today. “She had nothing to fight with. It’s like she went to war with no soldiers.”

Her kidneys and lungs began to shut down, and the mom of one son, Jake, was placed in a medically induced coma while doctors worked to save her life in the intensive care unit.

Part of her care included vasopressors, a powerful medication that the Cleveland Clinic explains forces blood vessels to narrow, making the heart pump more forcefully.

“Vasopressor drugs can save your life by helping your organs to keep functioning,” the Cleveland Clinic explains, adding that they “are a form of life support.”

“The use of vasopressors in the management of septic shock is vital,” the National Library of Medicine explains. But they do come with a risk to extremities, as their use poses a serious risk of blocking blood flow.

Related: Boy, 5, Dies of Sepsis After Catching Covid and Strep A

That can lead “to tissue necrosis and amputation. Acute limb ischemia is associated with high morbidity and mortality.”

And that’s what happened with Sherri, her husband said.

“I literally watched my wife’s feet and hands die,” he said. “They were black and they were mummified.”

When she woke from her coma, Sherri was told that doctors wouldn’t be able to save her limbs.

“I’m very mentally strong,” Sherri told Today. “I just choose to be happy … It’s not to say that I don’t have a breakdown every now and then and just cry a little bit. I don’t let it last long.”

Friends have set up a GoFundMe to help the family defray the cost of medical bills and prosthetic limbs, which she hopes to get at some point.

“There’s a dark road that we could easily go down ... I know Sherri smiles and she is beautiful and it’s very authentic,” David told Click2Houston, adding, "The days are challenging."

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“I learned all kinds of things as far as how to do my hair and makeup and brush my teeth and eat,” Sherri said, sharing that her daughter-in-law Mika helps.

“We remind each other to choose joy in the day,” she said.

“When people get down, I know it’s easy to say but it’s a choice,” she told the station, “but for me what works is to just choose it and to say quick, 'Tell me a joke' or 'What’s the best memory we’ve had.'”

The family shares updates on her progress, as well as fundraiser information, on their Facebook group.

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