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>>

  • Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Migraine Relief: Stopping Pain & Relieving Pressure

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-18 21:15:06 GMT
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
    Meredith Messerli is thankful she can study without pain. The college freshman spent two years of her life battling severe migraines.more>>
  • Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Hope For Lanie: Curing SMA

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:15:09 GMT
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure, but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms.more>>
    SMA attacks the body's motor neurons and causes paralysis. There is no cure for SMA but for the first time doctors are studying an experimental therapy that targets more than just symptoms, it targets mutated SMN genes, which are responsible for SMA.more>>
  • Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Washing Lungs & Breathing Better

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:15:09 GMT
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
    Imagine not being able to breathe without struggling: every breath you take is work; every breath you take could be your last. That was the case for one man who became dependent on an oxygen tank to stay alive.more>>
  • Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Ocular Melanoma: Saving Lives, Saving Eyes

    Friday, April 11 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-11 21:15:07 GMT
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a rare type of melanoma that targets the eye. It can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
    Ocular melanoma, also called uveal melanoma, is a type of melanoma that targets the eye. It affects about 2,000 people a year in the United States. Although rare – it can be a deadly if it isn't spotted early enough. Now, there's a way to treat patients that's saving lives and saving eyes.more>>
  • Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Memory Palace: Coping With Chemo Brain

    Thursday, April 10 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-10 21:15:09 GMT
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
    More than 13 million Americans are living with some form of cancer. Harsh treatments like chemo and radiation save lives, but they will also change lives. Now, many cancer survivors are learning how to cope with chemo brain.more>>
  • Pedaling For A Cure

    Pedaling For A Cure

    Wednesday, April 9 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-09 21:15:09 GMT
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
    Five years ago, Leslie Trudeau's world came crashing down. At just 22 years old, her son Taylor lost his battle with leukemia. That's why Trudeau is pedaling for a cure.more>>
  • Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Bringing Hearts Back To Life: New Improved Defibrillator

    Tuesday, April 8 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-08 21:15:13 GMT
    CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Eric Robinson alive after he went into cardiac arrest. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
    A year ago, while jamming with his son's band, Eric Robinson went into cardiac arrest. CPR and a portable defibrillator helped keep Robinson alive. And now a newly FDA approved Biotronik implantable cardiac defibrillator, or ICD, constantly monitors his heart.more>>
  • Helping High Risk Hearts

    Helping High Risk Hearts

    Monday, April 7 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-07 21:15:09 GMT
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
    Ironing is not exactly Barbara Roy's favorite activity, but it's something she's glad she can do again. Her doctor diagnosed her with severe aortic stenosis.more>>
  • Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Hernias In Newborns: Lincoln's Story

    Friday, April 4 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-04 21:15:07 GMT
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
    Congenital diaphragmatic hernias occur in about one in every 2,000 births. They can be deadly, but now doctors are using a more aggressive treatment approach.more>>
  • Predicting Bad Hearts

    Predicting Bad Hearts

    Thursday, April 3 2014 5:15 PM EDT2014-04-03 21:15:09 GMT
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner.more>>
    Every year, more than 700,000 Americans have a heart attack. And 600,000 die of heart disease. Now, researchers at Baylor Research Institute at Dallas have uncovered a biomarker that may help them spot the disease sooner; and they did it by pure accident.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.