'I was in end-stage multi organ failure' - Mum suffered septic shock and lost fingers after welcoming fourth baby
A young Louth mother of four has launched an appeal to raise €65k for an iLimb Digits prosthetic hand after the fingers of her left hand had to be amputated when she suffered septic shock following the birth of her fourth child.
Niamh Boyle, 32, from Dundalk is thankful to be alive after the life threatening illness which saw her placed in a medically induced coma last August.
A chartered accountant by profession, Niamh says she complained about pain in her stomach after the birth of her youngest son.
"I was told that was normal after a fourth delivery and was sent home. Three days after the baby was born, I had a serious pain in my elbow and went to A&E in Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda. After a long delay, during which a cast was put on my arm and I was about to be sent home, I was sent up to the post-natal ward where I was eventually diagnosed with sepsis," she recalls.
"By that stage I had gone into septic shock and my organs were beginning to shut down and I was put into an induced coma."
"I was in end-stage multi organ failure and to keep my heart beating the doctors were forced to give me medication that resulted in a loss of blood flow to my extremities, and the toes on my right foot and fingers on my left hand had to be amputated."
"Elbow pain can be a sign of sepsis but that is not commonly known, so I want to raise awareness of that," she says.
Her husband Liam, who is also an accountant, maintained a vigil by her bedside, while her parents Jimmy and Maureen Marron, her family and in-laws cared for their children.
She says that it wasn't until she got home after spending eight weeks in hospital, that the reality of her situation sank home.
"When I was told that I was going to lose my fingers and toes, I had spent so long in hospital, that I just wanted it over and done with so I could get back home to the kids."
While she has learned to do her everyday chores using one hand, she says she would love to get an iLimb Digits prosthetic hand "so that I can better look after my four children and get back to doing the things I enjoy in life."
"It costs €65,000 which is a lot of money and will my health insurance will give me a small amount towards, we don't have enough money, even with using our savings."
Niamh, who can no longer play the piano which she loves, has set up a 'gofundme' page to which people can contribute.'
"It would make a big difference to my life if I could get the hand, it would make things much easier and any contributions towards it would be fantastic."