Buffalo, NY (WKBW)- 28-year-old Shannon Smith of Buffalo is energetic, outgoing, and determined. She's determined to become independent again after loosing all of her limbs two years ago. Her journey began on December 5th, 2010 when the young mother and Buffalo native was living in Las Vegas, NV and working as a pharmacy technician.
She was also 6 months pregnant. That day though, Smith did not feel right and was hospitalized due to complications from pneumonia during her pregnancy.
"Something just wasn't right," said Smith.
Her baby's heart rate was extremely low and after an emergency C-Section she developed sepsis, a bacterial blood infection, and her condition worsened. She went into Septic Shock. Her kidneys and liver started to fail and Smith started hemorrhaging from her eyes, ears, mouth and nose. Her second baby did not survive and she slipped into a coma.
"From day one it's just been a whirlwind of support," said Smith. "Everyone kept praying and my support system has been great."
Smith spent the next 9 months in a Las Vegas Hospital before she was transferred to the Erie County Medical Center where she stayed for an additional 2 months. After being released, she began outpatient therapy. Now thanks to Smith's determination and advanced technology from East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Corporation in Buffalo, every day the 28-year-old is becoming more independent. The advancements are allowing Smith to walk and pick up items.
"We've designed a myoelectric prosthesis for her arm," said East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Clinical Director Chris Bergen. "It's the kind of device that works off the muscles of the human body. So that electrical current is the switch that can turn off and on a hand."
Shannon's ultimate goal is to walk on her own without a walker or cane. To accomplish this, she's spending more time at therapy. She also created a non-for-profit organization to help assist her with the extensive medical costs. For more information or to contribute to Smith's fund visit: http://sdsmedicalfund.bbnow.org/