Bionic Woman: Against All Odds - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Bionic Woman: Against All Odds

Posted: Updated:

DEER PARK, N.Y. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - Imagine losing your child and all four of your limbs, in one night. One woman had to face this reality head on.

Shannon Smith was six months pregnant with her second child when something went wrong.

"I wasn't feeling that well that morning.  So, I went to the hospital and was told that I would have to have an emergency C-section," Shannon Smith told Ivanhoe.

During the C-section, she developed sepsis and a condition that caused blood clots, loss of circulation, and organ failure.

"I developed clots all throughout my body, which stopped the circulation to my limbs," Smith said.

She slipped into a coma. Three weeks later, she woke up to learn she'd lost her baby and her limbs would need to be amputated.

"I remember thinking, how did this happen?" Smith said.

Seventeen surgeries and eleven months later, Smith became one of the first people to get four nerve activated prosthetics that all work together to keep her going.

"There's basically a computer in that knee that is monitoring every step she takes," Christopher Berger, CPO, Clinical Director, East Coast Orthotic & Prosthetic Corp., told Ivanhoe.

The hi-tech limbs have given her a new lease on life and a new nickname, the "Bionic Woman."

"I have seen her go from being in a wheelchair pretty much full time, to being able to put her limbs on, to being able to walk," Berger said.

Smith enjoys the independence her limbs have given her.

"My son, my family, and God, that's what keeps me going," Smith said.

Today, the "Bionic Woman" is adjusting to her new normal life and looking forward to taking her next steps towards independence. 

The microprocessor in Smith's knee is so advanced that it understands her needs based on ground reaction forces.  If you would like to donate money to Shannon's medical fund, go to her website at: http://sdsmedicalfund.org/.

RESEARCH SUMMARY

BACKGROUND:  Shannon Smith was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.  During her emergency C-section, she slipped into a coma that lasted for three weeks.  When she finally woke up, she discovered that she had contracted septic shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation, which led to blood clots, loss of circulation, and kidney and liver failure.  In order to keep her alive, doctors were forced to amputate significant portions of both of her arms and legs. (Source: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2012/06/shannon-smith-the-bionic-woman/)

SEPTIC SHOCK:  Septic Shock, also called Sepsis, is an extreme immune system response to an infection that has spread throughout the blood and tissues.  Severe sepsis often causes extremely low blood pressure.  Symptoms can include fever or low body temperature, rapid breathing, chills and shaking, rapid heartbeat, decreased urine output, and confusion or delirium.  It is most often the result of a bacterial infection, but it can also be caused by other types of infection.  Sepsis can happen to anybody, but it is most often found in older adults, infants, and people with compromised immune systems.  Sepsis is treated with fluids, antibiotics, and medicines to control blood pressure and prevent organ damage.  (Source:www.webmd.com)

DISSEMINATED INTRAVASCULAR COAGULATION (DIC):  DIC is a rare, life-threatening condition that prevents a person's blood from clotting normally.  It may cause excessive clotting (thrombosis) or bleeding (hemorrhage) throughout the body and can lead to shock, organ failure, and death.  When the body's natural ability to regulate blood clotting does not function correctly, the platelets (the blood's clotting cells) clump together and clog small blood vessels throughout the body.  DIC can be triggered by a health problem that sets the clotting in motion, like types of bacterial infections, severe trauma, some cancers, complications during pregnancy, and some types of snakebites.  The severity of bleeding can range from small red dots and bruises under the skin to heavy bleeding from surgical wounds or body openings, like the mouth, nose, rectum, or vagina.  Symptoms of organ damage caused by excessive blood clotting may include shortness of breath from lung damage, low urine output from kidney damage, or stroke from damage to the brain.  (Source: www.webmd.com)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:

Christopher Berger, CPO
Clinical Director
East Coast Orthotic & Prosthetic Corp.
chris.berger@ec-op.com

  • Medical News HeadlinesMedical News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Nasal Spray For Alzheimer's

    Nasal Spray For Alzheimer's

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:15:11 GMT
    Every 70 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease. There is no cure, but there is new hope. From July 12-17, the greatest minds in Alzheimer’s research gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark discussing the latest breakthroughs and developments in this disease.more>>
    Every 70 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease. There is no cure, but there is new hope. From July 12-17, the greatest minds in Alzheimer’s research gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark discussing the latest breakthroughs and developments in this disease.more>>
  • Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Drug To Prevent Alzheimer's

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:15:05 GMT
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
    Everyone-- no matter if you are a man or woman, family history or not-- with a brain is at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Age is the biggest risk factor and America is aging. Right now, dozens of research sites across the country are testing an experimental drug to see if it might prevent memory loss associated with this terrible disease.more>>
  • Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Could Down Syndrome Be The Key To Alzheimer's?

    Monday, July 21 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-21 21:15:13 GMT
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
    More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. More than 400,000 of them also have Down syndrome. What does a condition seen at birth have in common with a disease typically diagnosed in the elderly? Quite a bit.more>>
  • Extreme Workouts

    Extreme Workouts

    Friday, July 18 2014 6:04 PM EDT2014-07-18 22:04:23 GMT
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
    Workout routines have taken a tortuous turn. Running through mud and fighting in cages are just some of the latest extreme workouts, but one wrong move and you could be in trouble.more>>
  • Extreme Skin

    Extreme Skin

    Thursday, July 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-17 21:15:05 GMT
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
    Last year, Americans underwent more than 11-million cosmetic procedures and spent nearly $12-billion on skin rejuvenation. Everyone wants their skin to look younger, healthier and better, but some are taking it to an extreme.more>>
  • Extreme Diets

    Extreme Diets

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-16 21:15:07 GMT
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
    Dieting is an American pastime. About 45-million of us diet each year, and we spend about $33-billion on weight-loss products. There are more ways to diet than ever and some are pretty extreme.more>>
  • Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Frozen Lumpectomy For Prostate

    Tuesday, July 15 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-15 21:15:08 GMT
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American Cancer Society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.more>>
  • Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Bariatric Surgery For Diabetes

    Wednesday, July 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
    Nearly 90 percent of people with type-two diabetes are obese and as more Americans gain weight, more will likely face a diabetes diagnosis. In fact, the American Diabetes Association predicts that one in three adults will have diabetes by the year 2050. For years, we’ve heard about weight loss surgery and its effect on diabetes. Now, a new study is showing how well the popular surgery is working to stop this serious disease.more>>
  • Ankle Replacement

    Ankle Replacement

    Tuesday, July 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-08 21:15:10 GMT
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
    More than 50 million Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. Between 6 percent and 13 percent of them have ankle arthritis. These patients feel pain with every single step they take, but now ankle replacements are giving patients a new lease on life.more>>
  • 3D Knee

    3D Knee

    Monday, July 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-07-07 21:15:09 GMT
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
    In the past ten years, the number of total knee replacements in the U.S. has doubled and many of those patients are much younger than ever before. Now, new technology allows doctors to make replacement knees that are the perfect fit.more>>
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 NewsChannel 5 (WTVF-TV) and WorldNow. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.