Help Lauren Get Her Life & Legs Back

UPDATE 28/12/22:

Since the initial onset of my illness, despite recovering almost completely in every other aspect, I have been plagued by a chronic wound on my left heel which would not heal up despite trialling lots of different treatments and medicines and after multiple procedures in the theatre to try and encourage it to heal.
I underwent surgery to have a trans tibial flap transferred from the back of my left leg onto my foot to cover the wound and promote healing underneath. I also received leech therapy to this which promotes the blood flow to the flap and encourages successful grafting of it.
Despite this being initially successful and me being discharged fairly shortly after, only a short time after the graft began to lift away from the wound causing space to form under it and creating a perfect environment for bugs and infections to grow. I had multiple infections in the wound which we treated with antibiotics of different kinds, all sorts of creams etc over a course of months. Although the flap was a success this time, the infections were persistent as was the wound and it just kept recurring no matter the treatments we tried.

After a few months of trying different things, I had a meeting with my Surgeon about this chronic wound and which other treatments we could try (all of which were now surgical again much to my upset). He suggested we could try a transtibial free flap which entailed taking my griscilis muscle from my left thigh and using this to cover the wound and promote healthy tissue forming underneath ultimately closing the wound and providing more support for me when I could begin walking again. I decided to go ahead with this surgery albeit not guaranteed to resolve the issue because what did I have to lose at this point?

The operation was successful (much like the last flap I just had to keep it really warm and keep my fluids up but other than that just relax and recover). Initial reports from everyone was positive but unfortunately the flap took a turn for the worst and stopped taking to my foot causing the muscle to die and ultimately risking sepsis or similar again if left there.
My surgeon gave me two options; we could either try the same procedure using the muscle from my right leg with the same success rate and possible issues arising or we could amputate below knee same as my other leg and free me from this nightmare once and for all… so that’s what I did.

As of 30/11, I became a double below knee amputee electively as opposed to the emergency life saving one that had to be done to my right leg. I made the selfless decision to free myself from this merry go round of nightmares that I’ve been stuck on for so long and give myself the chance of a beautiful future and achieving my dreams like I so very much deserve to. Illness and the long term effects of it have ruled my life for almost 2 years so in doing this, I’ve finally cut ties with this rough chapter and allowing the doors to bigger and better things to open at long last.

Much as before, I’m not here begging for your money, times are hard financially or one way or another for us all so please don’t feel obligated to give anything you can’t afford, I am grateful for every one of you taking the time to read this and even sharing on your social media platforms if you can - I’d like to get my story heard and again get my life back on track after another very rough year all round mentally and physically.
My main aim is to get a new wheelchair as I am now completely reliant on it again until I get my new prosthetic and can begin learning to walk. Any other money I may raise after that will be saved to go towards improving my prosthetics from the basic ones they provide initially (although this may take a while as the process is long)

Thank you again for taking the time to read my story - please share if you are able to, that would mean the world to me ☺️


My story from the beginning:

My name is Lauren, I am 26 years old and I'm from Essex, UK.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the 2021, I contracted meningococcal septicaemia without warning which has resulted in a below knee amputation of my right leg following multiple failed skin grafts taken from my left thigh and amputation of all of my toes on my left foot which has also had multiple skin grafts and further affected my mobility.

I was airlifted to hospital and spent 4 months there in total; the first 24-48 hours of which were critical. I was put into an induced coma and on life support due to multiple organ failure, unable to breathe independently initially.  They performed an emergency tracheotomy to allow breathing apparatus to be connected. I was completely reliant on this for approximately two months. This was then slowly reduced over a course of weeks; I went from being on 24 hour oxygen to multiple different types of breathing valves until I was breathing independently again.

Following this, I was then able to regain the use of my voice which is when they discovered my illness had an impact on this also. They carried out an MRI of my head as an investigation into why my speech had become impaired. It was then discovered that I had a small blood clot in one of the hemispheres of my brain, although this was an old clot they could not completely rule out that this may have had an impact on my speech. (They have since found out that I suffered a mild stroke during the initial onset of my illness which wasn’t confirmed until later on in my recovery journey.)

Although I have undergone some speech therapy whilst I was an inpatient at the hospital and I can make myself now understood by most people, my speech has been significantly impaired. I am told this should improve over time but I may not ever sound exactly as I did before and my passion for singing may have to remain in the past. I also have some lasting effects to my short term memory and my fine motor skills, predominantly my writing which has become significantly impaired since my illness.

This, alongside my physical health, has had a very detrimental impact on my mental health. As well as my new found disability and inability to live a completely independent life as before, I am also unable to work indefinitely at present due to my role as a Receptionist requiring speaking to a variety of different people, some of which have impairments themselves, and needing also to communicate effectively with my colleagues as well as navigating around a fast paced environment. Although there was some input from Speech and Language therapists whilst I was in hospital and my speech has significantly improved since earlier on in my journey, I am still significantly speech impaired and my ability to effectively retain short term information has declined significantly also.

I am now bound to a wheelchair, having only walked a few steps with an inflatable pomade whilst in hospital and I'm having to adjust to normal life again, re-learn how to carry out simple tasks and continuously working to improve my fine motor skills in order to adapt to life now as an amputee in the safest and most effective ways. I am currently and am likely to continue to need outpatient support in the long term in respect of follow up checks/dressings on my remaining foot and graft sites and rehabilitation to improve my ability to walk and live as independently as possible again.

Although I have now been discharged from hospital, I have had to move out of my childhood home and into my own temporary hostel accommodation with the necessary adaptations in order for me to live as normal life as possible. Although these adaptations make it easier for me to live my day-to-day life, they are still not ideal at this present time. It is unclear how much my current condition will improve so, although some of my needs are met in  the meantime, my current living conditions may not be suitable for all aspects of my journey which is why I am asking for some help to get my own property, adapted to meet my needs and enable me to live my life as normal as possible.

Having spent all year in hospital and not being able to return to my home or place of work since my new found disability, I am finding it hard to adapt to life outside of hospital and in this new, not ideal environment so I am asking for the help of the general public. such as yourself reading this, in order to make this possible. Even just a small amount will be gratefully accepted, every little helps in order to make living as normal life as possible happen.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and in advance for any donations you may decide to make in order to help me get my life back following my illness.

With kind regards,



Tracey Briggs

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