A bionic hand has allowed a young mother to do essential everyday tasks for the first time since losing fingers to sepsis.
“After eight months without the use of my left hand it felt fantastic being able to do tasks with it again,” said Niamh Boyle, 32, who developed the life-threatening infection after the birth of her fourth child last year.
When she woke from a medically induced coma she was told she would have to have all the fingers on her left hand amputated; she also lost toes on her right foot.
Niamh, a mother of four from Haggardstown, Louth, has spent the last week being trained in how to use the high-tech prosthetic iLimb at a specialist company in Galway.
She is now waiting for her bespoke hand to be delivered and allow her to live as normal a life as possible.
“The training with the prototype hand involved doing every day tasks such as peeling vegetables, picking up and putting down different sized objects at different heights and opening various packets and boxes and bottles.”
She also practiced changing nappies on a teddy bear and got to apply make up as well as “brushing teeth, tying shoelaces, throwing tennis balls, using cleaning sprays, zipping up jackets and slicing cheese & tomatoes for making sandwiches.”
Niamh wants everyone to know the signs and symptoms of sepsis and to always ask doctors if they have checked for it.
Niamh and husband Liam have baby Ardan (8 months) as well as his brothers Euan (2), Rian (5) and Ohran (6) and Niamh is fundraising to cover the estimated €65,000 cost of the iLimb digits hand.
It can be controlled using an App, resembles a bionic hand and with it Niamh even played the guitar again.
“My message to everyone reading this is know the symptoms of sepsis. It can develop from any sort of infection but if it is diagnosed it can be treated with penicillin. Ask the doctors have they ruled it out because a lot of people do not have a voice because they did not survive it.
”Now I know that a severe pain in your elbow or knee can be a sign of it. The most common signs are shivering from a fever or cold, extreme pain or discomfort, pale or discoloured skin, sleepiness or difficulty to rouse.”
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