Mum's trip up stairs lead to amputation, blindess and kidney failure - followed by crash and transplants
A MOTHER who has lost her sight, her leg and has undergone a double transplant has spoken about the start of her new life.
Steffanie Wise, aged 35, has been through more than most but is now looking forward to her wedding.
The problems started in 2002 when Steffanie was working for a brewery chain and fell up some stairs and hurt her leg while she was eight months' pregnant.
"When I moved down to Cornwall my ankle was still sore and swollen so I went to the doctors," she said.
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"He said my ankle was broken and that I shouldn't be able to walk on it so I was referred to a specialist."
She was diagnosed with an infection and was treated with antibiotics. But the infection got worse and in February 2003 she was forced to have a below-the-knee amputation.
"After I lost my leg my eyes started deteriorating from the severe septicaemia," she added.
By June 2003 Steffanie was registered blind and was offered a guide dog in September 2004.
In 2006 the mum-of-one was diagnosed with renal failure from ulcerations on her stump where she contracted MRSA. But Steffanie's string of bad luck still didn't come to an end there when six months later she was involved in a serious car crash.
She said: "My friend and I went Christmas shopping in Tavistock and as she pulled out from a turning another car hit my side of my friend's car. The engine was up on my knees and I split the side of my eye open.
"My back was badly bruised and as I had already been diagnosed with kidney failure its function went down to 18 per cent.
"I was pulled out of the car through the back door. My false leg was mangled in the engine and I was still conscious so I called my mum.
"My friend had bumps and bruises and was screaming outside of the car. Then I had to be airlifted to Derriford Hospital."
Both of Steffanie's thigh bones were shattered.
She spent eight weeks in hospital waiting for her terrible injuries to heal and had a metal plate fitted.
That didn't work so she later had a knee replacement, and last year Steffanie received her kidney and pancreas double transplant.
But that is when things took a turn for the better. While she was recovering Steffanie met her fiance, Scott Poolton, on Facebook and within six months he moved to Cornwall from Dudley.
Now the couple, who live close to Plymouth, have made it to the final five of a competition to win an all expenses-paid wedding. Steffanie said: "You hear about fairytale weddings and this is it. My life turned around after the double transplant. I don't think I've ever felt as energetic or alive as I do now.
"I'm not unlucky, I've got to be one of the luckiest people in the world - I could have died. I just don't think about it and it has made me the person I am today.
"When I met Scott I skirted around the leg, sight and double transplant sob story.
"I don't want people's pity, I haven't been unlucky, I have an amazing child, I have Scott and I have met some amazing people."
For more information about the competition visit www.sianhewettphotography.co.uk.