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Ronit Chernitzky

Survivor

Hello, I am a 43 year old woman, born in Mexico, but live in Panama.

Six years ago, I had flu-like symptoms. I went to the doctor and was sent to the emergency room, only to be discharged six hours later. I went home, and my husband, who arrived a few hours later, saw me unconscious in bed. He took me back to the hospital where I was taken directly to the ICU, put on a respirator, and put into an induced coma. I had developed severe pneumonia, and my organs started to fail. (Sepsis and Pneumonia) I was on dialysis, and five days later, having gone into septic shock, my hands and feet started to turn purple. (Sepsis and Septic Shock) All this happened in Panama, Central America, where I live.

No one understood what was happening. My uncle, a doctor from Mexico, took me in an ambulance plane to Mexico where there were expert doctors. On Day 12, I arrived in Mexico and started to get better. I was told my flu caused an immunological reaction (antiphospholipid catastrophic syndrome). (Sepsis and Influenza) After a few weeks, I got my first amputation – my right hand. (Sepsis and Amputations) A few days later, I lost my left foot. My left hand has permanent damage to all the fingers. My right foot was amputated a few months later; we tried to save it but the damage was too much.

Currently I am very independent – I have below the knee amputations, and use prosthetics from a very good New York prosthetic doctor. I have no right hand and I have no fingers on my left hand. I have four kids (two boys and two girls).

I am very healthy, except I have nerve pain in my right arm. I have had twelve surgeries to repair nerve damage, and I am still struggling with this nerve pain. I have no phantom pain, luckily. I exercise a lot, help people with problems, and make sure to live life with the maximum positive attitude.

I would like to expand my story, as it has many beautiful moments, and support and love from lots of family and friends. This episode opened my eyes and my heart. I am thankful where I am right now. I do public speaking to motivate others, and make sure people appreciate what they have. I am always available to share my experience with anyone that needs help. Thanks for letting me share; my instagram is ronit_prosthetics in case you would like to see my physical activity and life in general.

(Read about the most up-to-date information on the flu at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention)

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