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How a cold turned into a quadruple amputation for a Utah mother of 6


(KUTV) - A Utah mother of six underwent a rare quadruple amputation after she contracted a cold that eventually turned into pneumonia then sepsis, according to her niece Rielly Fonohema.

38-year-old Tiffany Fonohema has Ankylosing Spondylitis, which is a form of arthritis that affects the spine and large joints in the body.

Fonohema was taking Humira to treat arthritis, but Humiraweakens the immune system.

Fonohema got a cold while taking Humira and that cold turned into bacterial and viral pneumonia which put her in the hospital for a month, where she got sepsis.

Sepsis is a life-threatening blood infection which lowered Fonohema's chance of living from 70-percent to 15-percent in a matter of days, according to Rielly.

"Tiffany is currently engaged to my Uncle Moe, my dad's brother," says niece Rielly Fonohema. "She's been the most humble, positive light that our family has ever had and we've been blessed to welcome her into the family."

"She is 38 with 6 amazing kids: Nesi 27 (adopted from our family), Davontae 19, Inoke 16, Robbie 10, Mckelvey 7, and Jamison 4," Rielly said. "They've been together for 4 years, and all 4 years she's become the biggest blessing our family has had, from letting us have family parties in her own home to letting us feel as though her home was our home. These last 3 months have been difficult for our family because we were dangerously close to losing her."

According to Rielly, the doctors at the hospital put her on Levophed, which treats low blood pressure and heart failure. The drug shunted off the blood from her extremities resulting in the quadruple amputation.

Fonohema will need four prosthetics, which cost about $225,000, and is not covered by her health insurance.

"At this point, the medical bills, the cost of the prosthetics, the renovating of the home to accommodate to Tiffany and other things that our family will need to financially support her family, we need all the financial support we can get," Rielly said. "There is no one you'll find more deserving, more loving and humble than Tiffany Fonohema."

Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help out with medical costs, as well as costs to renovate her home to accommodate a quadruple amputee.

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