Losing Her Limbs, But Regaining Her Life
Photos Courtesy of Penny Fisher
Six years ago, clothing designer and former model Penny Fisher was a busy mom of two on vacation with her family. Out of nowhere, she began to feel disoriented and ill. Within 24-hours she was on life support and her family was told to say their goodbyes.
For reasons that are still unknown, Fisher had contracted Strep A, a rare bacteria that went into her bloodstream causing her to develop Toxic Shock Syndrome. She was put in to an induced coma for three months, during which she survived pneumonia, septic shock, and swelling of her brain. When she woke up, she was bald and weighed 90 pounds. Her hands and feet were black because blood had been diverted from her extremities to keep her organs alive and doctors told her that a foot, a leg, and several fingers had to be amputated.
One of the most amazing things about Fisher, beyond her superhuman determination and strength, is her attitude about the hell that she went through. “I did not freak out,” she says. “I just thought, I am going to turn this around. I’m going to look good no matter what. I am going to attract my husband no matter what. I am going to be fun loving no matter what.” She wasn’t just grateful that she got to mother her children, Ross and Sloan, and be a wife to her husband Jeff, but she was determined to thrive. She adjusted to a new body, thanks to prosthetic limbs and fingers, and was on the tennis court and traveling to Italy just weeks later. Here is Penny’s awe-inspiring story in her own words.
WAKING UP FROM THE COMA: My hands and feet were black. My limbs had died on my body. I knew that unless I got amputated, I would have no freedom or mobility at all. I had to go home and get healthy enough to eat and recover so that I could get have this intense surgery of having all of my limbs, basically, amputated at once.