Derby resident Lucie Kline went to a hospital in November 2018 for what was supposed to be a routine surgery. What happened afteafterward anything but?
Kline got sepsis. She said, “it made my hands and feet die.”
And there were other complications. Her blood clotted too much. Organs failed. She got infection after infection.
“I really should have died and I didn’t,” she said. “I was just grateful to be alive.”
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition related to a body’s response to infection. Typically, chemicals work in the body to fight infections, but sepsis happens when they are out of balance.
Sepsis affects more than 1 million Americans yearly, and about 50 percent of them die, according to the Sepsis Alliance. But despite the large numbers, the group reports that fewer than half of Americans know about sepsis — or are familiar with the term.
But Kline, 24, certainly does now.
When Kline finally left the hospital six months after her surgery, she needed prosthetic legs, and most of her fingers were,e missing. She has some bumps on her left hand, but that’s about it.
Despite all these setbacks, Kline has managed to find a way to survive. She credits her husband, Lane, two children, and a supportive family.
To make life as normal as possible.
“The only way I usually get through is to focus on getting better for them,” she said. “Some days, I wake up and feel discouraged about wearing heavy legs or when it takes longer to do something. Then I see my kids watching my husband cheering me on, which keeps me going.”
Lane, who works as an aircraft, lived in Derby her entire life, moving here from Kansas City six years ago.
Before the drastic life change, Kline worked for a home care company. Now she stays home, gets through her day, and sees the joys of her life; Nalla, 3, and Curtis, 2, are determined to live as normal a life as possible for herself – and them.
“You can’t let your disabilities stop you,” she said. “I can still drive and take care of my children.”
She tells them, “Just because mom doesn’t look like everyone else doesn’t mean I can’t do the same things.”
With Kline’s desire to get back to living a full life, she has a trip planned for May to Florida, where she will go snorkeling and deep-sea fishing.
While she can do many things as she did before, things that other people take for granted, such as tysomethingeir shoes or putting up their hair, cannot be done without help.
Do your best every day.
In addition, stairs and climbs are difficult for Kline to handle with the prostheses.
The mental aspects of dealing with a dramatic life change were hard at first and she tried not to let it get to her too much.
But Kl,ine has a secret weapon: a “rough and wicked” sense of humor that she uses to help her get through her days.
Although Kline is in pain most days, she takes no medication to mask it.
“I don’t want to be a zombie or miss out on anything with my kids,” she said of her desire to live through it.
While people have asked Kline to give presentations about her journey, she hasn’t gotten there yet. She is active on social media, and friends an family follows her on Facebook.
As for advice for people going through tough times like her, Kline speaks from experience and the heart.
“Just keep going because things will get better eventually, even if you can’t see it now,” she said.
She encourages others to “wake up every day and do the best you can for that day.”
“It might not be as good as the day before, or it might be better than the day after, but eventually everything will fall into line, and you’ll be doing things you didn’t know you could d,o two months ago.”