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If you are a parent.....and holding your child for the first time was one of the most defining moments of your life ...Imagine not being able to hold them in your arms ever again. Imagine never being able hold their hand with yours, wipe their tears, gently touch their cheeks with your finger tips while they sleep so soundly, or even get down on your hands and knees and play with them on the floor.... Some parents take these things for granted on a daily basis or even just coming home, tired from a long days work, most of you could never imagine having these simple things taken away...but for Cyndi this is reality... Cyndi has 2 beautiful children, and her youngest child is only 1 year old....she never had a choice.
The first week of February 2011 Cyndi became ill with what she thought was a very bad flu....high fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Then she started to have severe pain in the back of her right thigh. This progressed to the point that she could not walk….not at all! She was also exhausted, as her new baby, Liam, had colic and croup. She had been to the emergency room a couple of times with him so she and wasn't getting much sleep.
On the morning of Friday February 4 at around 10am Cyndi was taken by ambulance to the Hospital. She was in very serious condition which changed to critical condition. They couldn't even get a blood pressure reading. The entire weekend was spent running tests and trying to save Cyndi's life. Cyndi's husband Marc and her parents were called into the hospital a couple of times during the first few nights. The hospital staff really didn't think that she was going to survive.
On Sunday February 6 it was confirmed that she had Necrotizing Fasciitis commonly known as Flesh Eating Disease. The toxins were ravaging her body and as a result she was undergoing kidney dialysis. The Doctor explained to Marc that the initial impact of the deadly bacteria was in her right thigh, where she had been experiencing the excruciating pain. That, he said, was like the site of a nuclear bomb exploding and the poisons were destroying her entire body.
Cyndi was medically induced in deep coma for a few weeks and then slowly brought out. She was eventually transferred to St Mike's Hospital in downtown Toronto for surgery. On Wednesday March 2 she had the surgery, to amputate all four of her limbs, both hands and wrists and both legs below the knee. It is a miracle that she has survived.
In April Cyndi was still in the hospital recovering from her amputation and skin grafting surgeries. The second week of May she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility, there she would re-learn how to walk with artificial legs and just the basic every day functions. Things we all take for granted. It is very frightening to think that this could happen to any one of us!
As emotional as this story is Cyndi is an amazing woman who has an extraordinary will to live, fight and to overcome this inconceivable challenge, so she can get back the ability to care for her children, be a mother, a wife, and live life as best and as independently as possible. In order for this to happen Cyndi would need prosthetic limbs, in-home care, wheel chair access in and up to her home, ...her home will have to be remodelled for accessibility...simple things like taking a shower isn't as easy now, as just 'walking' in and out...these are all needs that are extremely costly!
Flesh Eating Disease is not racist, it is not prejudice, and it doesn't care if you are old or young, rich or poor, a careful or carless person, it can happen to anyone at anytime. If this was someone you loved or cared for what would you do to help?
You can help.... by raising awareness; there are no foundations in Canada for Necrotizing Fasciitis and as it is rare, most people have little or no knowledge about it or how it is contracted. You can also help by raising money, holding a fundraiser or even just donating to this cause. We are asking anyone who has been touched by this story to help.... We live in a world where there is so much devastation and as much as we would like to help, we are either unable or just don't know how. You may not be reaching out to victims of the tsunami in Japan or earthquake and tornado victims or even children starving all over the world but you will be reaching out to someone in need right here... this is your chance to make a difference!
If you would like to know more about how you can help raise money, volunteer please read our Upcoming Events page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to donate please click on our Donation page where we have a PayPal account set up for Cyndi, every little bit helps!
Lastly you can also help by spreading awareness and educating others about Necrotizing Fasciitis. For more information about this deadly bacteria and how it is contracted please read the About Necrotizing Fasciitis page.
Thank you for taking the time to read Cyndi's Story