Local mom who had limbs amputated from rare infection shares ‘miraculous’ news (2024)

STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – A local wife and mother is reclaiming her life one step at a time, five years after losing all four limbs to a severe reaction to a bacteria found in dog and cat saliva.

“Of course, at first, I said, ‘Why did you let me live?’ You know, how can I live like this?” said Marie Trainer.

Trainer had just returned from a tropical vacation in the spring of 2019.

She had a small cut on her hand but didn’t think anything of it when her beloved dog welcomed her home with kisses.

“Four days later I wasn’t feeling well and just got sicker and sicker,” she said.

Her husband of 37-years Matt Trainer thought it was the flu and rushed her to the hospital wheredoctors were stumped as Marie slipped into a coma.

“It was rough,” said Matt.

Tests at both Aultman Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic confirmed the surprising diagnosis of capnocytophaga canimorsus, a virulent bacterium commonly found in the saliva of dogs, and cats, that can aggressively trigger the immune system and cause severe blood clots.

The large growing clots can cut off circulation to the limbs; causing them to turn necrotic, often requiring amputation.

“It was just rapidly progressing where her hands and feet were turningblack,” said Dr. Ajay Seth, Orthopedic Surgeon, Researcher & Author with OrthoUnited Spectrum Orthopaedics in North Canton.

Initially some treating physicians wanted to amputate all four limbs at the torso, which would have extremely limited her life.

But Dr. Seth was determined to save as much of her limbs as possible so that she could be fitted for prosthetics and have a “normal” life.

He performed a “miraculous and arduous” operation that took more than seven hours during which time he removed at least 40 to 50 clots.

Both of Marie’s legs had to be amputated above the knees, but Dr. Seth did manage to save most of her arms.

If Marie’s limbs were not amputated, she could’ve died within days, if not hours.

Now five years later, she is healthy, strong and making tremendous strides.

“It’s been challenging,” she said, “Learning how to walk was the hardest thing, but I’m good, I’m doing good.”

That’s despite a bumpy road to recovery.

The amputations occurred in 2019 and then just as she was starting rehabilitation the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down.

“We had difficulty getting parts, you need knees, you need feet you need hands, small parts, screws, doesn’t matter we had a hard time,” said Hanger Clinic Clinical Leader & Prosthetist Craig Jackman.

“But she still persevered through,” said Dr. Seth, “And has just been running since then.”

Marie now has new state-of-the-art prosthetic legs and hands that enable her to do almost everything, from gardening to drawing and riding on the couple’s trike.

“When I see her walk it’s like, ‘Oh my God this is amazing,’” said Matt, “We see the light at the end of the tunnel, we just adjust what we have to do, it just takes more planning when we want to do something.”

Her perseverance has not only inspired people in Northeast Ohio, but her story has traveled around the globe.

She’s been contacted and offered support to other amputees and become a role model and example of what’s possible for everyone.

“To see the progress she’s made in five years it’s like miraculous, it’s unbelievable how far she’s come,” said Dr. Seth, “And every time I see her she’s got that smile, not many people could do that.”

As for her future…

“The sky’s the limit,” said Jackman, “Marie has myoelectric protheses. So, the way that works is we put electrodes on the surface of her skin so when she contracts her muscles there’s electrical impulses that go through those muscles so those sensors pick it up… so, she just, in essence, thinks open hand and close hand, and that’s what happens.”

Marie says they function almost like biological hands and legs and can even provide the sensation of touch.

Which is why she knew the very first thing she wanted to do after getting the hands.

“So, the first thing I did was held Matts hand because I hadn’t done that in a while,” she says.

Marie is grateful to her “team” for getting her through these past five years.

She says she might not be here if it weren’t for Matt, their children, Dr. Seth, Jackman and many others who’ve worked with her in physical therapy and rehabilitation.

She’s now even looking forward to dancing at Matthew Junior’s upcoming wedding.

But most of all, she says she is grateful to her husband, and thankful they can once again live and love life together.

“Especially my husband, Oh gosh I don’t know what I would do without him,” she said, choked up, “I love him more and more every day!”

AGoFundMe accountremains in placeto help the Trainers with their ongoing medical bills.

They and doctors also try to warn everyone about the potential dangers found in canine and feline saliva.

They say if you are bitten by those animals go to the emergency room immediately.

Also frequently wash your hands and especially if you have a cut, even if they are your own pets, because in a moment your life can change forever.

Local mom who had limbs amputated from rare infection shares ‘miraculous’ news (2024)


Local mom who had limbs amputated from rare infection shares ‘miraculous’ news? ›

Local mom who had limbs amputated from rare infection shares 'miraculous' news. STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – A local wife and mother is reclaiming her life one step at a time, five years after losing all four limbs to a severe reaction to a bacteria found in dog and cat saliva.

Why did Cindy Mullins lose her limbs? ›

Cindy had her legs and arms amputated after she suffered from an infected kidney stone in December, according to local news outlet WLEX. She began physical therapy on Jan. 2, and her loved ones have been documenting her journey on GoFundMe. Lucinda "Cindy" Mullins.

Who was the nurse who had her limbs amputated? ›

Mullins, who is a nurse, told WLEX that her quadruple amputation is the result of a “perfect storm” resulting from a kidney stone she had a few weeks ago. Following treatment, the stone got infected, and she became septic, Mullins told the outlet.

Can sepsis cause amputations? ›

How can sepsis lead to amputation? Amputations can be the result of sepsis or be a cause of sepsis. There are, on average, about 38 amputations a day due to sepsis and about 1% of sepsis survivors undergo one of more surgical amputation of a limb or digit as a result of sepsis.

What happened to Lucinda Mullins? ›

Lucinda Mullins, 41, lost all her limbs when doctors had to amputate to save her life when a kidney stone infection led to blood poisoning in December. The mother of two from Ferguson has been making daily progress since she was moved to the Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital in Lexington.

Can kidney stones cause amputations? ›

Doctors “give you that rare chance of something bad happening … but I would have never dreamed [of this],” Mullins said. Mehdi Shishehbor, the president of an Ohio hospital's heart and vascular institute, said that kidney stone infections rarely lead to amputations.

Has mom had legs amputated after kidney stone? ›

Mom, 41, has legs amputated after kidney stone turns almost deadly: 'Life over limb' Her arms will have to be amputated as well. "If this is a sacrifice that I had to make to be alive, I'm at peace," she says. Lucinda Mullins' life-changing ordeal began with a kidney stone the size of a grain of sand.

Has mom had feet and hands amputated? ›

MORE: Woman goes into septic shock after giving birth, has her feet and hands amputated. Mullins said her family and her community have rallied around her as she has spent the past two weeks in a rehabilitation facility, learning how to be as independent as possible.

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