Chargers visit Chula Vista mother who had her arms and legs amputated

Mother of five fought off sepsis
Posted at 5:55 PM, Oct 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-18 20:55:13-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - A Chula Vista woman who has battled back from the brink of death received a special visit Tuesday from members of the San Diego Chargers.

Karene Sanchez got sick while on vacation in Mexico earlier this year. A kidney infection and a bladder infection landed her in a Mexican hospital where doctors gave her a 10 percent chance of living.

"It was kind of terrifying," said the 40-year-old Sanchez. "I don't remember anything after that. My body went into septic shock."

Sanchez was taken to Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, and registered nurse Sarah Saunders-Harbaugh said, "Unfortunately, she came in … She was extraordinarily ill."

Sanchez was diagnosed sepsis, a systemic infection that can lead to organ failure. It kills more than a quarter-million Americans every year.

"There is no cure, so that is why we need detection out early," said Saunders-Harbaugh.

"My feet and my hands were turning all purple and they were very stiff," said Sanchez.

Doctors had to amputate her limbs to literally cut off the infection.

"I can still feel my limbs," said Sanchez. "I can still feel my palms, my fingers."

She is waiting for prosthetics so she can go home, adding, "I want to be able to get up and be a mom and everything again."

Her children never left her side during her time in the hospital. Her oldest children, Jorge and Aries, took turns sleeping next to their mom at night.

"It's just, I love my mom a lot. She's … she's my mom," said Aries.

Sanchez said she couldn't do it without them.

On Tuesday, Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center staff celebrated Sanchez's recovery and invited the Chargers to come visit.

"It just makes me think back that you got to be thankful for all your blessings," said Chargers wide receiver Dontrelle Inman, who signed a jersey for Sanchez.

Inman and teammate Branden Oliver presented all five of Sanchez's children with hats and T-shirts as well.

The family set up a target="new">GoFundMe page to help pay for her medical bills.