Woman has fingers amputated after horrifying infection

What began as pain in the abdomen has resulted in amputation for one former health care worker.

Sadie Kemp, who worked for a COVID-19 testing and tracing unit with the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, will have all 10 fingers amputated — and possibly lose her home — after an infected kidney stone caused her limbs to go into sepsis.

Doctors are unsure whether Kemp, 34, will also need her legs or toes removed, according to an update from her family on GoFundMe.

Nevertheless, the mom of two sons—Kenzie, 16, and Hendrix, 2—is keeping spirits high.

“I’ve realized I have been given a second chance at life. The doctors have told me they are so confused that I’m still here, I shouldn’t be alive given the amount of poison I had in my blood,” she told the Mirror.

Sadie Kemp before having her fingers amputated.
Sadie Kemp, from Peterborough in the UK, had been working with the National Health Service’s COVID-19 testing and tracing program before she became sick.
Sadie Kemp/SWNS

Kemp was rushed to a hospital in Peterborough on Christmas Day after complaining of a new sort of pain in the area near her kidneys. She decided to take a bath that evening in search of relief.

“Half an hour later I was screaming in pain on the floor saying I felt like someone was squeezing my kidney,” she said.

Kemp had been placed in a medically induced coma when she suffered a septic reaction to a kidney stone. When she awoke, more than a week later and into the new year, her hands and feet were black.

Sepsis occurs when the immune system releases an onslaught of chemicals to fight off an infection, only to cause widespread damage to the body by also attacking organs and causing clots that starve limbs of blood, eventually leading to amputation if not treated.

Sadie Kemp in hospital.
Five fingers have already been removed, along with five more in the coming days, according to her family.
Sadie Kemp/SWNS
Sadie Kemp before having her fingers amputated.
Doctors have not yet decided whether the patient will also have to have her legs removed.
Sadie Kemp/SWNS

Infections leading to sepsis most often originate in the lung, urinary tract, gut or from an untreated flesh wound. The condition can be highly treatable with antibiotics if caught in the early stages, but it can be difficult to detect as early signs of sepsis are no different than many other illnesses, including fever, dizziness and low blood pressure. This is part of why it remains a leading cause of death within hospitals, often as a complication of surgery.

Kemp and her physicians managed to save her life and some limbs from the deadly complication so that only her fingers have been lost so far. However, she may soon lose her legacy, too, as doctors fear the infection has spread too far already.

She and her sons had already been living in a home provided by a charity after suffering a financially devastating divorce. Now that she’s lost her job with the NHS, she fears her children are in danger.

“I’m just trying to get my head around why this happened and how this happened,” she said.

Sadie Kemp before having her fingers amputated.
The mom of two has been left without a job or home due to her recent disability.
Sadie Kemp/SWNS

“It has left me without a job and a house,” she continued. “I’m not earning money for my kids. They haven’t got a roof over their heads and that makes me feel terrible. I just want to be there for them and give them some security.”

Meanwhile, her family has launched a fund-raiser to aid Kemp in her physical and financial recovery. They hope to eventually raise enough to get her bionic prostheses that would allow her to live a life as freely as technologically possible.


Leave a Comment