Patient Stories

Life After Losing a Limb

February 28, 2013

Life After Losing a Limb

Sharan Bryson never looks at what she doesn’t have – she always seems to find the gifts around every corner.

“I am sitting here before you today a true miracle – a true miracle – because I was dead”, Sharan said.

Her story began just before Thanksgiving 2010, when unexplained stomach pain resulted in her losing her leg, but in the end – saved her life.

“I know God was with me that night”, Sharan said.

Sharan’s story starts with a phone call to her mom. Sharan was having trouble breathing. Her mother rushed her to CHI Health Immanuel Medical Center. Little did Sharan know how much her life was about to change.

“By the time I got to the Emergency Department at Immanuel, I couldn’t breathe and I coded”, Sharan said.

Sharan’s heart stopped beating. She doesn’t remember much after that. CHI Health Emergency Department physician, Dr. Scott Vosik was on duty that night.

“She arrived with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and confusion”, Dr. Vosik said.

Dr. Vosik determined Sharan was suffering from one of the following: acute pancreatitis, inflamed pancreas, severe metabolic acidosis or her body was producing too much acid. All of them can be life-threatening, Sharan was in real trouble.

In order to save her life, Sharan needed a medicine that is generally given in small doses over a short period of time. But she needed more – a lot more. Because of that, Sharan’s leg had to be amputated below the knee and she lost all but one toe on the right foot.

“When you’re on those medicines for long time, you usually have a lack of blood flow to the extremities – fingers and toes”, Dr. Vosik said.

Sharan spent months in the hospital – first in intensive care – then therapy at Immanuel Rehabilitation Center. Her trip to Immanuel that night started her on a journey she never imagined – but one she wouldn’t change.

Today Sharan is grateful to be alive – grateful for a second chance with her little girl. She will tell you attitude has a lot to do with healing -so does faith. Sharan has an abundance of both.

“Change is good – change can be positive. Regardless of the change I’m going through, I will always have that positive attitude because it’s a blessing to be alive after being dead”, Sharan said.

Sharan chose Immanuel Medical Center the night she felt her life slipping away. Immanuel is one of many CHI Health hospitals providing expert emergency care when you need it most.

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