Post-natal infection costs mother legs, arm, sight

Post-natal infection costs mother legs, arm, sight »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Baby Safiya is 3 months old, but her mother has no idea what she looks like.

In fact, Carol Decker hasn't been able to see Safiya since her daughter's birth. That's when Carol was rushed into surgery for an emergency Cesarean section. Her husband, Scott, wasn't sure she would be able to endure it.

Fortunately Carol did survive, but immediately after the surgery she developed life-threatening hypotension from a septic pneumonia infection. Doctors administered medication, but it only made things worse.

Carol's body reacted by blocking the blood flow to her legs, left arm and eyes.

Doctors had no choice but to amputate both of her legs below the knee and her left arm. Carol was also left blind.

In just three months, the family's life had been turned upside down. What was supposed to be the happy homecoming of their baby girl has unleashed so many challenges that the family can barely keep up.

"Where did this come from? How did this happen?" said Scott's mother, Joanne Decker.

Scott and Carol have been trying to adjust to Carol's new life as an amputee while keeping the rest of the family going.

"You know, we've got two really young kids and it's not always easy," Scott said. "There are definitely tears and hard days. These have been the hardest days of my life, definitely."

Their financial problems, meanwhile, have run away from them. Medical bills have already surpassed $2 million in just three months, and there's no telling what the future will bring.

"What we don't have is she (Carol) is going to have inpatient rehab that our insurance doesn't cover," Scott said. "Her family has done some fundraisers raising a decent chunk of it."

"Every step has been another hurdle for her to cross," said Heath Gier, Carol's brother. "We didn't expect her to lose her sight. That was a real tough one."

"Carol has shed tears and done the kissy-face bit. To me, it would be just horrible not to be able to see my babies," said Joanne.

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Information on how to donate to the Decker family:

http://sccsdecker.blogspot.com/2008/06/update-to-account-information.html