Anna has been suffering from the effects of blood poisoning in her left knee for almost four years. After more than 30 operations, the 24-year-old was left with only a leg amputation. Her story gives courage to numerous sufferers.
For almost four years, 24-year-old Anna from Nuremberg has been suffering from severe knee problems. She has to go to the hospital. There, a knee endoscopy is done, but the doctors find nothing. Shortly after, she gets sepsis. Then follows years of suffering, dozens of operations. The only way out: an amputation.
Since then, the trained nurse has been sharing her experiences on social media. She has Blog, even on Instagram and Tik Tok she talks about her story. Now she has spoken out again to Bild: "My boyfriend loves me even with one leg," the 24-year-old says. Just a few weeks ago, doctors amputated the nurse’s leg. She took her "first steps" just two days later. Now the Nuremberg native wants to encourage other sufferers.
This is Anna’s story
It all starts on the 18th. November 2017. "I was on late duty, driving into work with my mommy," Anna recalls of the day on her blog. She had been "doing great" – though she had felt slight pain in her left knee. At first "nothing dramatic.
But from hour to hour, the pain gets worse. Walking is hardly possible anymore. Again and again, the then 21-year-old sits in the wheelchairs of her patients. After her shift at 10 p.m. she goes straight to the hospital. The visit ends at midnight in the operating room.
Blood poisoning after visit to the hospital
Doctors take a knee mirroring. They find nothing abnormal. But after that, nothing is the same. "My knee increased more and more in redness, I got a fever and my heart beat much too fast". The diagnosis: an incipient sepsis (a blood poisoning), triggered by germs in the knee.
Several months of hospitalization follow. "I was only home for two or three days in between, a week at most," the 24-year-old says in a Tik Tok video. In total, there are 33 knee surgeries she has to undergo over the years. Nuremberg woman suffers three blood poisonings during this time. Multi-organ failure and septic shock occur. "No one knew if I was going to survive this. I didn’t think I was going to make it either".
But: She makes it. Again and again there is talk of amputation. Anna resists for a long time. "I wanted to be clear with myself first," she recounts. "I didn’t want to fall into a hole. I wanted to be strong enough. I wanted to exhaust all treatment options first."
Leg amputation is the only way out
That time has now come. There is no longer an alternative to amputation for Anna. In the meantime her whole body suffers. The hip, the back. The other knee also dislocates several times a day. "I just notice that I’m getting worse and worse. And I don’t want to be in a wheelchair at some point."So she decides to take this life-changing step.
At 6 o’clock on the 28th she has to. Being in the hospital for September. Surgery starts at 7 a.m. After her operation, Anna reports back shortly after the operation. "Got through everything well," she wrote in her Instagram story as recently as Tuesday afternoon.
Just two days after surgery, she is taking her first steps
Just two days after her surgery, the next post follows: a video in which she shares her first steps with her supporters. "I love these little feelings of success that I’ve been waiting for for years – now it can only go uphill and I think that when the pain and the phantom sensation subside, the world will also look a lot different and better again," Anna explains.
The feedback in the comments makes it clear what message Anna is sharing with her video: "You can be proud of what you have already achieved and what you will achieve in the future," writes one user. "Just great to see how positive you are going through life," another.
Another user commented "I’ve been following you for a while now and I need to get this off my chest. From day 1 you have had such a positive charisma that I now admire you as a role model, among other things, because of your courage, your strong person and your ‘fighter’s heart’."
Sepsis ends in the worst case fatally
With sepsis, Anna is not an isolated case. In fact, as the Sepsis Foundation reports, one person dies from it every three to four seconds worldwide. In Germany, there are 70.0000 to 75.000 people per year. According to the video, sepsis is the third leading cause of death in the Federal Republic after cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Sepsis occurs due to the body’s defense reaction against an infection. It is often mistakenly thought that it always comes from a wound and is noticeable by a red line towards the heart. However, this only shows that the lymphatic channels are inflamed, which can lead to blood poisoning, but not necessarily.
Help for those affected and their families
Anyone who suspects they have blood poisoning should call 911 immediately.
If you or your relatives have had sepsis and are looking for help or advice, you can contact Sepsis-Hilfe. Here you can talk to people who have been affected by sepsis themselves. You can reach the association members at 0700-73774700 (landline costs) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
If you would like to help raise awareness of sepsis, you can support the Sepsis Foundation with a donation or become active yourself.
Pneumonia or meningitis, as well as urinary tract infections, measles, or other infections, can also be a trigger. An extremely strong, subjective feeling of illness can be a sign of this.
Other symptoms of sepsis include:
- acute confusion,
- low or falling blood pressure and
- quick pulse.
Among others, people over 60 years of age, infants under one year of age, people receiving immunosuppressive drugs for rheumatism or cancer, have an immune deficiency, for example due to AIDS, or suffer from chronic diseases of the liver, heart, lungs or diabetes, but also people who lack the spleen are particularly at risk.