Saints Community Development Foundation have announced that Stuart Lanham will be their Ambassador for the Blind and those effected by Sepsis.
A spokesperson said “We are extremely proud to have Stuart on board and we’re sure he will make a positive impact in our community.”
Here is his story:
“My name is Stuart Lanham I am 45-years-old. I live with my wife Janine and our two daughters Rachel 18 and Charlotte 13.
“March 1 2014 was a normal day, being dad taxi to Rachel and running a few errands. I started complaining that my left arm was really sore and it increased over the course of the day.
“By the evening I was freezing, shivering and the pain in my arm was getting worse. My wife wanted me to go to the Walk In Centre to be checked over but I refused initially saying I would be ok. As the evening progressed my daughters also started nagging me to go to see a medic so I agreed for Janine to take me.
“However, when we got into the car Janine made the decision that I was too ill for the Walk In Centre and we drove straight to our local A&E.
“I remember seeing the triage nurse when we arrived but I nothing after going back into the waiting room.
“It was Janine who told me what happened over the next three weeks. I was taken into the A&E assessment room and was examined by numerous clinicians. My arm was swelling massively and I was complaining that it was too heavy for me to move and I couldn’t bend my elbow.
“The A&E team sent me for a CT scan but as I was in so much pain I couldn’t sit still enough to go through the scanner.
“I then took a turn for the worse, the MET team were called and they rushed me into theatre.
“I was operated on and when they opened up my arm they saw I had necrotising fasciitis with sepsis that had developed into septic shock. They debrided the infection from my arm and I was then into ITU.
“A day later there was still no improvement and I was taken back to theatre where my arm was amputated to try and save my life.
“My kidneys failed and I was put on dialysis, my whole body swelled to double the size and it was touch and go for about 10 days.
“I then started to improve and was slowly taken off the monitors and dialysis.
“Janine was thrilled thinking that I had fought this and escaped with the loss of my arm however when I came round I told the nurses and Janine that I couldn’t see.
“Initially, we thought it was due to the medication I had been on and that it was temporary however as time went on and as we saw more specialists we realised it was permanent – not only had I lost my dominant arm but I was completely blind too. We were and still are devastated.
“The effect this has had on our lives is immeasurable and every aspect has changed. I haven’t been able to see my wife for more than four years, I have missed my daughters grow up, missed my eldest’s Prom and I will never see them walk down the aisle or see any grandkids I may have.
“It has been so hard over the last four years but I am just starting to get out a bit more and I help at a blind school to help other people who are losing their sight how to use their mobile phones.
“I have trained with guide dogs and I am hoping to get one in the future too.
“I am really looking forward to making a positive impact in our community with SCDF.”