SHE LOST HER BABY, HANDS AND FEET BUT NOT HER STRENGTH
Gabrielle Union really opened the door on conversations surrounding miscarriage recently, and shined a spotlight on just how many women go through the tragedy of losing children during pregnancy every day.
Kayleigh Ferguson-Walker is one of these women.
Ferguson-Walker was six months pregnant when she was rushed to the emergency room for what she thought were flu symptoms. Unfortunately, things were much much worse: the Florida woman had a rare condition called “incompetent cervix,” according to the LA Times. This snatched the life of her baby, who was born a stillborn.
After the baby was out of her, doctors realized the infection had spread to Ferguson-Walker. She was diagnosed with sepsis, which led to her extremities losing blood as her body tried to keep her central organs running.
In order to work on curing her, Ferguson-Walker’s doctors put her into a medical coma for two weeks.
“My hands and feet were pitch-black, dead,” said Ferguson-Walker, recalling the moment she woke up from the coma. “But I was not alarmed. I just looked at them. These were my hands, my feet, and I can’t move them at all. It was not a good sight.”
Gangrene had set in.
After the unimaginable pain that came with losing her baby, Ferguson-Walker also lost all of her limbs via a quadruple amputation.
The doctors tried to save as much of her limbs as possible; enough remains of Ferguson-Walker’s arms and legs that when they heal, she will be able to be fitted with prosthetics.
While she waits for that time, Ferguson-Walker remains the mother of a three-year-old daughter who is coming to terms with living a very different life.
“What I miss with Aaliyah is braiding her hair, taking her for a drive, making a meal, giving her a bath, putting on her clothes,” she said. “A bike ride, swimming with her.”
That he mother can no longer hug her makes the three-year-old sad, as does the fact that her mother can no longer dance with her. “So I say to her, when I get my legs, the first thing we’re going to do is dance. And that puts a big smile on her face.”
Bravely, Ferguson-Walker has not only come to terms with what was happening in her life, but actively fights and persists. She attends peer group support meetings and exercises with her physical therapist on a regular basis.
Of course, she isn’t always on fight mode, as she is human, but she takes it one day at a time.
“You have to expect me to sometimes not to be ‘happy Kayleigh’ 100 percent of the time,” she noted. “I have my moments. We all have those moments.”
She credits her faith as a big source of strength. “In the hospital bed, I was talking to God. Sometimes I even questioned him in my early stages. I asked God, why? Why me? But I knew then there was a great future ahead of me.”
And now, Ferguson-Walker said, “I have no fear. I am going to find a way. I may take longer than the next person, but I will find a way. I keep fear out of my mind.”
Culled from blavity.com