Paradise woman recovering after losing fingers, toes to life-threatening infection
38-year-old mother of two now needs prosthetics
A Paradise woman is recovering from a life-threatening, bacterial infection that resulted in the loss of some of her fingers and toes.
Elaine Dodge-Lynch, 38, says doctors never determined exactly how she got the streptococcal infection, which started with fever-like symptoms in January 2015 and eventually left her unconscious in hospital.
"The emergency room team worked really hard to keep me alive and I ended up going on life-support for five or six days, I went into kidney failure and I had to be on dialysis," said Dodge-Lynch.
She says the medication she was given to treat her illness reduced the blood supply to her extremities.
Her fingers, toes and nose eventually turned purple and black. Her nose recovered but parts of her hands and feet didn't.
I couldn't look. It's just really hard to see part of you, gone.- Elaine Dodge-Lynch
She had to have all her toes surgically removed, along with four fingers on her left hand.
Dodge-Lynch also lost parts of her left thumb and right fingers.
"It was really hard to take and when I had the amputations done, when they unwrapped my feet, I couldn't look. It's just really hard to see part of you, gone," said Dodge-Lynch.
Life has changed
With the support of her family, the mother of a boy, 6, and a girl, 3, is recovering and preparing to learn how to use prosthetic hands and feet.
Dodge-Lynch has a PhD and worked in the department of Biochemistry at Memorial University. She was researcher and instructor before her illness but her life has changed in many unexpected ways.
If you don't have fingers, how do you open up your shampoo bottle? - Elaine Dodge-Lynch
"Well, the first thing is that I can't work at my career. So I've had to adjust to being at home and simple things like, If you don't have fingers, how do you open up your shampoo bottle? Everything... how do you put on your socks or help your children with their shoes? "
To cover the cost of the prosthetics and travel, the Dodge-Lynch family has set up a gofundme.com donations page.
The fundraiser has a $100,000 goal, and $52,378 had been pledged as of Monday.
"Right now my focus is keeping in shape and staying healthy because due to the way my feet are, if my core is not strong or my legs aren't strong, then I'm going to have hip problems or back problems," said Dodge-Lynch.
With files from the St. John's Morning Show