A Sydney mother-of-seven has opened up about having her legs and hand amputated after being struck down with life-threatening sepsis.
Tamara Impellizzeri was completely healthy until she developed sepsis earlier this year.
“I was happy, running around. Nothing could stop me. I have seven children to run around for. I didn’t have time to get sick. If I was sick, I would just shrug it off and just continue,” she told Lisa Wilkinson on The Project.
However, it wasn’t until she developed pneumonia in May that she started to decline. Despite being prescribed antibiotics, her organs started shutting down, causing her to collapse. She was rushed to hospital and placed into an induced coma for eight days.
It was during this time that her heart, lungs and kidneys had all collapsed.
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This is Tamara…six months ago she was living life as a busy, able-bodied mother of seven, and then her entire world took a completely unexpected turn. She developed sepsis pneumonia. Tamara has now had both feet and one hand amputated, and this week she loses her right hand. Tamara’s greatest wish is to get home even for a few hours on Christmas Day to share It with her kids. But she still has a long way to go. And when she does get home, there will be enormous costs involved in modifying the home to accomodate her many needs just to get through each day. @tamaraimpellizzeri is without doubt one of the most inspirational people I’ve ever met who lights up the lives of everyone she meets, and if you tune in to @theprojecttv tonight, you’ll find out why…. And if you’d like to help Tamara with her difficult road ahead, you’ll find the gofundme link in my bio. #Channel10 6.30pm #theprojecttv
When she woke from her coma, Tamara remembers seeing her toes and hand slowly turn black.
“I saw my hands, I saw my legs, I was shocked… it was black up to my elbows, and it was black up to my knees,” she recalled.
Sepsis, otherwise known as blood poisoning, occurs when a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs or skin, enters the bloodstream. Septicemia can quickly become life-threatening, and if left untreated, can rapidly progress to sepsis.
Symptoms vary but can include a fever, chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, tiredness, headaches, confusion, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, mottled skin, and a sudden drop in blood pressure.
Tamara’s fingers and toes continued to get blacker and blacker, prompting doctors to tell the mother-of-seven that she would need to undergo surgery to have her legs and one hand amputated.
Despite knocking on death’s door, the Aussie mum has not let her debilitating illness stop her from making the most of life with her seven children, and her husband of 27 years.
Tamara has remained in hospital for months following the amputation, but is slowly but surely learning to walk again with prosthetic legs. But, her ultimate goal is to go home for Christmas, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
However, when she is discharged she will require constant care. The Impellizzeri family have subsequently set up a GoFundMe page as they save up to renovate their house to accommodate Tamara’s wheelchair and other needs. They eventually want to find a vehicle equipped for a disabled person, potentially giving her the opportunity to drive in the future.
“We are greatful [sic] for this opportunity and looking forward to having her home for a brief time over xmas,” the page reads.
If you would like to assist with Tamara Impellizzeri’s current and future medical bills, you can donate here.