Mom loses hands, legs to infectious disease

- A Brookhaven mom is learning to live without her limbs. Elizabeth Zweigel had her hands and legs amputated in March after getting an infection. Zweigel says it all started one weekend when she started to not feel good, so she went to the hospital.

"I thought I had the flu. I 'was thinking they'd give me fluids and I'd go home," Zweigel says.

Zweigel says as soon as she got to the hospital, they rushed her to ICU.

"She went from perfectly healthy to being sick, like on her death bed, in a matter of hours," Scott Zweigel, Elizabeth's husband says.

Doctors told the Zweigels, Elizabeth had an infection in her hands. As her body tried to fight it off, it went into overdrive and sent chemicals into her bloodstream. It's called sepsis and it's life threatening.

"The doctor told me she had a less than one percent chance of even living through any of it," Scott says.

Scott says doctors told him the only thing left to do was to amputate her hands to get the infection out.

"It's either amputate or die," Elizabeth says.

But Elizabeth didn't just lose her hands, she lost her legs as well.

"It's not easy. Sometimes you ask yourself if this is reality," Elizabeth says.

Elizabeth spent five months in the hospital. She finally came back to her Brookhaven home in the beginning of August.

Now she's reteaching herself how to do even the simplest things like eat and get out of bed, but she continues to have a positive outlook despite the drastic life changes she's encountered.

"Don't sweat the small stuff. Be happy for what you have and your capabilities," Elizabeth says.

On Thursday September 1, an event benefiting Zweigel is being held at Sweetwater Brewery. It kicks off at 7 p.m. For more information on getting tickets, the event or if you want to donate to help with Elizabeth's medical costs by clicking here.

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