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UK lawmaker who lost four limbs to sepsis returns to Parliament

British lawmaker Craig Mackinlay has received a standing ovation in Parliament as he returned to the House of Commons after undergoing a quadruple amputation following a sepsis infection.

Mackinlay, who is a member of parliament for the governing Conservative party, representing South Thanet in southeast England, fell ill on September 28, 2023.

He told the BBC that he started to feel ill and turned “a very strange blue” within about 30 minutes.

“My whole body, top to bottom, ears, everything, blue,” he said in an interview released Wednesday, describing the symptoms of septic shock.

Sepsis is the body’s extreme response to an infection. It can be spurred by any type of infection, even a minor one, and occurs when germs enter a person’s body and multiply, causing illness and organ and tissue damage. The life-threatening condition requires urgent medical care to prevent organ damage and death.

In some cases, sepsis or the infections leading up to it are not properly identified because they can come with a wide range of symptoms such as confusion or disorientation, shortness of breath, high heart rate, fever, shivering or feeling very cold, extreme pain or discomfort, and clammy or sweaty skin, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mackinlay was put into an induced coma with multiple organ failures, and told UK media outlet GB News that there is a period of around three weeks where he can’t remember what happened.

When he woke up, he found that his hands and feet had turned black.

“I could see these things were probably lost,” he said.

On November 30, Mackinlay recorded a video from his hospital bed in which he showed the damage to his limbs.

“it’s caused the complete death of my hands and also my feet,” he said, describing them as “gnarled, dry, dessicated” and revealing that he was due to undergo a quadruple amputation the next day.

“The reality is I probably shouldn’t have survived this far,” said Mackinlay.

“The grim reaper let me survive, but he’s taken his payment in four of my limbs,” he adds.

Mackinlay’s wife, Kati Mackinlay, told GB News that doctors told her he had only a 5% chance of survival, but she remained hopeful.

“I never said goodbye, I never thought that’s it for Craig,” she said.

“I always knew that Craig would pull through and he did.”

The operation, in which his arms were amputated from the elbow and his legs from the knee, took around 4-5 hours, Mackinlay told GB News. He then went through a rehabilitation process to learn how to live with prosthetic arms and legs.

He has also some scarring to his face and ears due to a lack of blood supply, he added.

Nonetheless, Mackinlay is eager to get back to work.

“Get back into the saddle, get back into Parliament, get back doing the things I enjoy,” he told GB News.

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