Doreen Gentzler

Woman Determined to Recover After Amputation of Legs, Hands

A woman who lost her hands, legs and part of her tongue last year is on the road to recovery thanks to her extraordinary attitude and hope.

Sherron Couldren’s husband found her one day barely conscious, with her legs, hands and lips blue.

“When I tried to turn over the first time and my feet were too heavy to turn and then I went to reach and my hands were black,” she said.

She was suffering from severe septic shock syndrome, and her organs were failing. To save her life, doctors had to amputate her limbs.

Her doctors believe she was vulnerable to septic shock because her immune system was compromised when she lost her spleen a few years ago after a car accident.

Even though she was suddenly an amputee, Couldren vowed not to let it negatively affect her.

“My choice was that I just needed to keep positive and keep moving forward so I didn’t get depressed,” she said.

Prosthetist Tyler Manee began working with her in August.

“We've made her legs and her hands,” he said. “For the legs, we had to make custom sockets to fit and sort of build the prosthesis under, teach her how to use it.”

He used a 3-D printer to make the custom sockets for Couldren's legs.

“The hands took a little longer because that skin had more healing to do,” he said.

She has had to relearn the most basic tasks and says she feels phantom pain from time to time.

“Sometimes I feel like I need to scratch my finger or some body part that's not there,” Couldren said. “My ankle will get itchy, and I'll go to scratch it, and it's not there anymore.”

Although her prognosis is good, progress is slow, but she is determined to stay the course and give back.

“To get as close back to who I was as possible, and then I can find another purpose, and go out there and get a job again and contribute,” she said.

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