Karen Anderson


I awoke on the morning of April 17, 2021 in excruciating pain in my right shoulder. My arm was frozen in a bent position, and each time I attempted to move it, it screamed in pain. I went to the local ED where I was given pain meds and told that I probably slept on it wrong. I went home thinking this would get better and I should just rest.

I next developed a low grade fever, and although the pain and movement in the arm improved, my health did not. I slowly progressed to a state of complete inability to care for myself. My whole body was wracked with pain. I was unable to walk, lift myself on and off the bed or chair or move in general. After nearly 2 weeks I called an ambulance. This led me into my sepsis journey.

I was admitted and the next day, they opened my knees and completed an irrigation and debridement. One week later, the same on my shoulders. I was unable to move, for the most part and spent the next 30 days in the hospital. The next 30 were spent in a nursing and rehab facility. I had to relearn to walk and use my arms again. I live in severe pain always, as all four joints are destroyed. I can walk but every step is excruciating. I can use my arms but mobility is limited and I can’t lift my hands much higher than my head. And there is pain with that too.

I have had to change the way I do everything. My life is so far from the way it used to be but I am alive! This week, I face a small surgery that to open the right knee again and will hopefully rule out any more staph bacteria so that I may begin the joint replacement journey. (Sepsis and Bacterial Infections) This experience has made me realize that things happen to us to give us a different perspective. I know that I have to make different plans for the future but I also know that I am absolutely blessed with 3 gorgeous grandchildren and one on the way and a wonderfully supportive family! God was with me throughout I my journey. I felt the presence of Jesus on my shoulder every day. God gifted me with super skilled physician’s and a medical team that was phenomenal. They never gave up on me and neither did God. I am so blessed to be alive, and though my physical journey is a painful one, I will one day overcome this challenge!

Send us Your Story
Learn More about SepsisSupport Faces of Sepsis