Woman loses both legs and has hands turn black after having flu-like symptoms

A mum-of-two has been forced to have both legs amputated after dramatically deteriorating overnight from flu-like symptoms.

Julianna Bransden had just spent the first Christmas since the Covid pandemic with her mum, dad and siblings in a sorely-needed festive family celebration under one roof as they had done before the pandemic.

Primary school teacher Julianna, 44, was feeling under the weather at the time, but thought nothing of it initially, so continued enjoying the festivities which should have signalled a final return to normality post-covid.

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But sadly that wasn't to be the case, the family was hit with devastating news that Julianna's aunty, who lives in Northern Ireland, was taken ill on Christmas Eve and unexpectedly died of sepsis a few days later.

julianna's own condition then deteriorated rapidly and she soon found herself fighting for her life.

On New Year's Eve, Julianna was exhibiting flu-like symptoms and was "stuck in bed" while she rested.

However, it was the very next day on New Year's Day that the mum-of-two's condition went dramatically downhill.

Jac Burgess, Julianna's sister, told LancsLive that her sibling's condition was a lot worse than the family were expecting, with Julianna's husband, Tim saying she "could not lift her head off the pillow" and that his wife hadn't been able to check her phone for over a day.

Tim called 111 to get some expert advice on his wife's situation, with the call-handlers advising Julianna to get some rest, as she was only on day two of having a fever and was young, fit and healthy.

But Tim was not convinced and instead called an ambulance for Julianna.

"The doctors told us after that Julianna's body was basically compensating for her and had hidden how bad and ill she really was," Jac, who owns a veterinary practice in Skelmersdale, told LancsLive.

"She's young and healthy but suddenly fell off a cliff. In a timeframe of 30 minutes, her heart had stopped twice."

After around an hour to two hours of Julianna being admitted into hospital, her mum got a call from the medics who explained she has sepsis and would need to be on a ventilator.

Julianna spent 66 days in ICU, being treated for septic shock and organ failure.

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Jac added: "They said Julianna was in a 10 litre hydration deficit and was in septic shock.

"When she first went into hospital, she was so dehydrated they said that her lips looked like if you touched them, they would have cracked completely."

Doctors found that Julianna had aggressive pneumonia, influenza and invasive Strep A on the day she was admitted on New Year's Day.

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After weeks of fighting for her life, she awoke with severe damage to her hands and feet, having to undergo surgery to have both of her legs amputated below the knee.

She will also lose most of her fingers, as they've been severely affected by the sepsis.

Jac added: "We're now very confident that she's coming home. Her character as well, she's determined she's not going anywhere.

"She's been scarily stoic and super resilient. She's not just smiling for the pictures, she genuinely is.

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"The only time she changed was when we were going through the Go Fund Me and she only got upset because I was upset.

"She's doing so well, I just can't imagine what it's like to not even be able to have a good cry and wipe away your own tears. She's a superstar."

You can donate to Julianna's recovery journey by visiting their Go Fund Me page here.

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