Sepsis survivor Kim's joy at Garudaa's pledge to help her buy new 'hero arm'

A Milton Keynes woman whose limbs were ravaged by sepsis is hoping to buy a second ‘hero arm’ thanks to the generosity of a central Milton Keynes entertainment venue.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 4:34 pm
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Sepsis survivor Kim's joy at Garudaa'spledge to help her buy new 'hero arm'

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A lady from Garudaa messaged me and asked if I would accept a donation. I said: 'Yes please, that's lovely!'

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A Milton Keynes woman whose limbs were ravaged by sepsis is hoping to buy a second ‘hero arm’ thanks to the generosity of a central Milton Keynes entertainment venue.

Kim Smith, who had a series of amputations after contracting the killer infection on holiday, needs to raise £15,000 for the additional life-changing equipment.

After hearing her moving story, the Garudaa club on Avebury Boulevard, immediately pledged to donate some of the takings from its masquerade ball in September to the Kim's Chance appeal.

Kim, who had to give up her job as a hairdresser when she was struck down in February last year, said: “A lady from Garudaa saw my appeal on Facebook and messaged me to ask if I would accept a donation.”

The 58-year-old mother-of-two added: “I immediately said: ‘Yes, please. Thank you - that is lovely.”

Kim has already raised £3,500 towards her second prosthetic arm.

Speaking about the first one, which she had fitted last year, she said: “It’s really clever.

“I can pick things up, brush my hair and help out in the kitchen. It has given me my life back.”

Garudaa general manager Richard Winterbottom said: “Kim is so inspirational.

“She openly talks about her experience to schools and community groups – alerting others to the importance of spotting the signs and seeking urgent medical attention.

“It is an absolute pleasure to be able to help in our own small way to get her the second ‘hero arm’ she so deserves.

“A percentage of the takings from our Grand Masquerade will be handed to Kim’s appeal.

“We also urge other worthy causes in Milton Keynes to contact us to see if there is any way we can help with funds from our charity budget.”

Visit https://www.facebook.com/Kims-Chance-1506708116112720/ for more information.

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Kim Smith pictured with her 'hero arm'

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Kim's story: Romantic break turned into a living nightmare

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Sepsis can happen to anyone. You have to recognise the symptoms, act quickly and get treatment.

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It is every holidaymaker's worst fear – becoming so unwell you have to be flown back to the UK in an air ambulance.

For Kim Smith, the nightmare began when she developed a strange back pain during a romantic winter break to Spain in February last year.

After being discharged from the local hospital near Alicante following an X-ray, Kim took to Google to look up her symptoms – high temperature and urine infection.

The solution was antibiotics. But, Kim says, the chemists didn't have any.

She woke at 4am the next day, turned to husband Steve and said: “You have got to get me to hospital.”

Concerned medical staff put her in an induced coma. Nine weeks later she came around in Milton Keynes General.

“I was immediately taken to Bedford Hospital for the amputations,” said Kim.

Surgeons removed Kim's hands, and legs above the knee.

“I could have died,” added Kim. “I was lucky to survive and it has been life-changing.

“Now I am living life to the full. I have been skydiving and it was brilliant. I wouldn't have done that before but now I have no fear. I loved it. Amazing”

Having had to give up her job as a hairdresser Kim now spends her days campaigning for increased awareness of sepsis.

“I do talks all over Milton Keynes,” she said. “I had no idea what sepsis was. But it can happen to anybody.

“You have to recognise the symptoms, act quickly and get treatment.

“You antibodies go into overdrive trying to fight the infection and end up attacking your own vital organs. You can die within hours.

“I may have contracted sepsis when I cut my finger opening a can of food, although I can't be sure that was the cause.”

Visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/

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Club has cash to give to worthy causes

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Garudaa has appealed to local worthy causes not to be shy when it comes to asking for funding.

The club is inviting applications for cash from its community giving budget.

“Milton Keynes has been very good to us,” said general manager Richard Winterbottom, “and we would like to return that favour by giving something back to the community.

“We would be delighted to chat with any organisations or charities in the Milton Keynes area about how we can get involved and help with financial support.”

Along with the Grand Masquerade in September, Garudaa is planning a Day of the Dead on November 16 and a Latex and Leather event on February 29 next year. The club is inviting charitable causes to get in touch.

For information contact Richard Winterbottom on 01908 397910, email [email protected] or visit www.garudaa.co.uk

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Have a ball and help raise cash for Kim

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Club-goers can enjoy a great night out and raise funds for Kim's Chance at Garudaa's Grand Maquerade on Saturday, September 7.

There's free entry to anyone who arrives wearing a mask on the night.

Visitors will be treated to a champagne reception and there will be live stage shows all evening.

Waitresses provide table service and fully nude private dances are available.

For more information, call 01908 397910, email [email protected] or visit www.garudaa.co.uk

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Garudaa's Grand Masquerade is on Saturday, September 7

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