Life

By Beth Kilgallon

A quadruple amputee mum has become a model after defying her 1 per cent odds of survival.

After almost losing her life to sepsis, Kia Brazil, from Wisconsin, US, has beaten the odds and even kickstarted a modelling career after the life-threatening illness caused her to become a quadruple amputee.

The 29-year-old suffered a stomach infection which turned septic and eventually cost her legs and fingers which had turned black and could not be saved.

However, since almost losing her life and becoming a quadruple amputee, Kia is determined to use her experiences as a positive and has started a modelling career.

She says that she hopes to demonstrate that everyone is beautiful regardless of how they look.

Kia has been signed with a modelling agency for models with disabilities for over a year.

Kia said: “When I was first approached by the agency I was in shock and couldn’t believe it was real. I was so excited.

“Due to coronavirus the work has been slower recently, but things are picking up again now, which is amazing.

“I want to use my modelling career to help shine a brighter light over people who are afraid to show themselves or be themselves because of an illness or disability.

“I want people to know that everyone is different, and everyone is beautiful no matter what.

“We don’t have to look a particular way to be perfect. Everyone is perfect in their own unique way.”

After experiencing extreme stomach pains out of the blue, Kia was rushed to the hospital where it was discovered that a stomach infection had become septic and causing her complete organ failure.

Kia said: “My sister who was at the hospital with me was told to call all of my family as it wasn’t looking good.

“After the emergency surgery on my stomach, this is when it was they found the sepsis and told my family that all of my organs were quickly failing.

“They thought I was in my last moments and my family prepared to say goodbye.

“The doctors said there was nothing else that they could do to help me.

“My family begged for a second opinion and weren’t ready to just give up. So I was transferred to a different hospital for another surgery.

“By this point, I had also suffered two heart attacks.

“Doctors had said that I had less than a 1 per cent chance of making it through this.”

During Kia’s second surgery, doctor’s were racing to get as much blood to her vital organs such as her heart and her brain.

As a result, less blood was going to her limbs causing them to die.

Kia says that her right leg was her first limb to be amputated in a bid to save her life and she was then placed in an induced coma for 14 days.

She added: “They told me that I was the sickest person in ICU at that time.

“The coma allowed me to gain the strength to pull through, however when I woke up, I didn’t know that my leg had been amputated.

“I just felt thankful to still be alive.

“My other limbs were still there at this point, but they were black, dead, lifeless and flat.

“They looked awful and I didn’t want my kids, Madyson, 10, and King, 5, to see them like that.

“I always wore socks to cover them when they came to visit me.

“So I told the doctors I wanted them off too. I needed them to be gone so that I could focus on healing.

“So I had my left leg and fingers all amputated.

“I underwent a total of 28 surgeries and I was in the hospital for a combined time of six months.”

Kia also had to undergo a full hysterectomy and lost most of her stomach.

After losing both of her legs and her finger, as well as losing the use of her right, Kia was tasked with figuring out a new way of living for her and her children.

She says that when they saw her after her amputations they were scared but happy that she was alive.

Kia said: “It has been tough on my kids too. I have always been a hands-on and active mum, so this was going to be very different for us.

“It has been an incredibly hard journey but we made it.

“After I had my amputations I actually felt replenished because of the awful condition my body was in beforehand.

“I wanted to just be as normal as possible.

“I have a whole new respect for my amazing body after watching it heal from everything it has been through.

“I got prosthetics around a year after my amputations, but I do love my stumps. I mostly get around on a wheelchair or scoot about on my bum.

“I have had to learn a whole new set of survival skills, I am so much stronger than I have ever been.”

Kia believes that surviving sepsis has forced her to grow as a person and has completely changed her perspective on life.

She added: “I am so much more appreciative and grateful for the most simple things.

“I am so glad I had the strength to pull through.”

Kia has written a book, Surviving Sepsis..A survivor’s Tale, about her experience which is due to come out in May this year.

It will be available on her website: https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kiamariebrazil.com%2F&data=04%7C01%7Ckachinagosling%40catersnews.com%7Cf5a6307a9eb2437e768408d8f2846aef%7Cb9545708a99c44f9abe85c8d9343a12a%7C0%7C0%7C637525997832452965%7CUnknown%7CTWFpbGZsb3d8eyJWIjoiMC4wLjAwMDAiLCJQIjoiV2luMzIiLCJBTiI6Ik1haWwiLCJXVCI6Mn0%3D%7C1000&sdata=8jqGwBTrwJUGBuCKbPQwZF1srd7eviMx7n1K6R%2BRTpU%3D&reserved=0.