MATTHEWS, N.C. -- A Matthews woman is learning how to walk and use her hands again after getting sick with the flu and almost dying. The wife and mother of five had to have her hands and a leg amputated, and now with support of her family and community, she's back on her feet and has new robotic prosthetic arms.
For the first time since last November, Kristan Seaford is able to welcome her kids home from school standing up and she can hold them with her new arms. It s monumental considering she almost died.
My biggest worry was, how can I take care of my children? Who's taking care of my children right now? And how am I going to be able to do this, said Kristan.
Back in November, she didn't feel well so she stayed home while her husband took the kids to church.
Like any mom I thought I had the flu, but moms don't get sick days.
When they came home she was unconscious, taken to hospital by ambulance. She had the flu and strep virus, which quickly escalated into double pneumonia, then sepsis. Her husband Brook was warned of the worst.
On two separate occasions they had me come in and say goodbye to her. You can imagine the emotional element of that, he said.
But she survived. However, the medications and efforts that kept her alive killed her extremities, meaning both hands and one leg had to be amputated. Kristan remembers the surreal realization.
I was laying on my stomach and my arms were kind of up in my face, and I remember thinking, Why are my hands black? And then I thought they were gloves on my hand, said Kristan.
Now, just back from 10 days of physical rehab to learn how to use her arms, her progress is unreal.
My biggest goal when I got there was I really wanted to be able to pour juice in my little girls cup , in sippy cup, and put the cap on and give it to her.
Kristan's passion is running, with friends and competitively in marathons. She taught fitness at the YMCA and now she's just happy to be walking across the room.
Things like that happen about everyday that I amaze myself. Wait how did I just do that? said Kristan.
And she's amazed how her husband has kept the home with five kids, ages 18 months to 11, running.
Our church community, our friends, our family just completely wrapped around us, said Brook.
With no pity or asking why.
Why linger on that? I don't have time for that. I have just moved forward with it, said Kristan.
With her prosthetics costing hundreds of thousands of dollars the community is rallying, and running with a 5K called See Kristen Run to help the family with extreme medical costs. Kristan won't be running in this race, but she's confident she will once again.
I would have thought that would have worried me most, but that is so far down on the list. I mean, yes I want to run, and I'm going to, but my first priority is to be able to take care of the family.
A priority she's now one step close to achieving.
To learn more about the race or donate click here.