Charlotte mother's flu-like illness remains a mystery after hand and feet amputation

A Charlotte mother of two went into the hospital thinking she had a bad case of the flu. Two months later she finally went home, but doctors had to take drastic measures just to save her life. Now in a stunning twist, her family is fighting with their insurance company.

A Charlotte mother of two went into the hospital thinking she had a bad case of the flu. Two months later she finally went home, but doctors had to take drastic measures just to save her life. Now in a stunning twist, her family is fighting with their ins

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sonronia Drayton is used to being the one doing the cooking.

As a single mom, she worked two jobs to get her daughters through college and she ran a catering business on the side.

After a series of incidents, the roles have now reversed.

“You went from taking care of everyone to everyone's taking care of me and that’s why its so hard," Drayton said.

Last summer Drayton and her girls returned home from Cancun, a special trip to celebrate her birthday.

"I think something's really wrong with me"

Drayton recalled the day she called her boss.

“I'm crying to her and saying I think something's really wrong with me," Drayton recalled.

She had flu-like symptoms for days and checked in with her doctor twice. Finally, she decided to take a trip to the emergency room.

Doctors first suspected septic shock. Drayton said whatever was causing the infection was spreading through her body and the medical team was preparing the family for the worst.

“They said she was not going to make it.  'Your mother was the sickest person on this floor,'" Drayton's daughter Julia said. "They said she’d have to be put on life support and I lost it, I ran down the hospital crying... that was the worst moment of my life.”

After two months of attempting every option, her doctors had no choice. They had to amputate Drayton's hands and feet to keep her alive.

Her daughters documented their mother's journey every step of the way.

“My girls having to see me go through this, I was more worried about them seeing me," Drayton said.

Road to recovery

Almost a year later, the ease has not subsided. Drayton's family is frustrated because they don’t have any solid answers for what made her so sick and are still adjusting to life, learning to walk with new prosthetic legs.

“Some days just standing up, it’s a process just trying to balance," Drayton said. "Every time I try to stand up I feel pain. It's hard.”

Worse yet, the family is fighting with the insurance company to get the hands they say she needs. The insurance company paid for the prosthetic hands but her surgeons have prepped her to get robotic hands that have fingers and would allow her to do much more.

“This is a woman who worked all of her life, raised two daughters, why am I arguing with you over paying for something that she needs?" Julia said.

Despite the setbacks the mother of two somehow manages to stay upbeat.

“I always loved making people smile.  You having a bad day?  I'll make you smile," Drayton said.

There is a national campaign to get people educated on sepsis after 258,000 people in the U.S. die from it every year. You can find more info at www.sepsis.org.

"Some days just standing up, it's a process just trying to balance," Sonronia Drayton said. "Every time I try to stand up I feel pain. It's hard."

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment