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Young mother loses arms and legs, but not spirit

June 19, 2012 5:28:40 PM PDT
If you feel like being inspired, all you have to do is look at 29 year old Shannon Smith. She is learning how to do everything all over again, and she is doing it with a smile.

The Buffalo mother had to have all of her limbs amputated in January of 2011.

"I'm like, 'okay, I'm still Shannon'", Smith said.

She was six months pregnant with her second son when she got sepsis from what appears to have started as pneumonia.

She lost her son, spent three weeks in a coma, and then her arms and legs literally began to die.

"I knew it was going to have to happen because I saw the way my limbs were," Smith said.

Now Smith has custom-made prostheses for all her limbs thanks to East Coast Orthotic and Prosthetic Corporation in Deer Park, Long Island.

The company serves some 700 new patients like Smith every week. Christopher Berger is helping Smith learn how to use her prostheses.

"So when she fires her muscle, there you go," said Berger.

Inside her prosthetic arm, there are electrodes off to the right that respond to her muscle movements.

Small movements are a big deal for her mother, Roxanne, who is her caretaker now.

"We just take it one day at a time and keep our faith, and know that good things are coming," said Roxanne.

Inside Smith's prosthetic leg there is also a small computer that has four sensors that go down into her foot. That sends signals back up into Shannon's knee to help her decide if she should bend her knee or straighten it.

"I just have to learn how to go a little bit faster," Smith adds.

After she gets the basics down, she is hoping to do something she always loved to do - run.

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