Father-of-two who went to hospital with 'slight temperature' ended up having arm and leg amputated
A father-of-two who went into hospital suffering from a "slight temperature" ended up having his leg, arm and toes amputated after battling sepsis.
Junaid Ahmed, 35, went to A&E with suspected flu but ended up in a coma for six weeks and having to have multiple amputations.
He is now back at home, but is trying to raise £100,000 for a bionic arm so he can finally hug his children properly again.
Ahmed, from Ilford, east London, went to his local hospital in June 2022 after having a temperature for a couple of days.
But he collapsed and the next thing he remembers is waking up in hospital six weeks later.
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The father-of-two had previously had a spinal procedure at a private hospital to help with chronic back pain, and after his collapse was diagnosed with sepsis – potentially as a result of the procedure.
The sepsis caused his liver, heart and lungs to fail, and Ahmed was placed into an induced coma and transferred to hospital in London in a bid to save his life. He woke up in intensive care at University College London Hospitals in July 2022.
He said: "Waking up six weeks later was the biggest shock of my life. I was terrified and so confused.
"Shortly after medics broke the news that to give me the best quality of life, I'd have to have my right calf, left forearm and left toes amputated.
"In that moment, I told them to do whatever they could. I just wanted to live for my family, my kids and wife."
Doctors explained that Ahmed had hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare disease caused by an overactive, abnormal response of the immune system, which was further compounding his health problems.
He had undergone multiple bloody transfusions during his coma, but the combination of HLH, low blood pressure and sepsis meant the blood flow to his foot, arm and toes dropped so low they started to die.
In September 2022, he had two four-hour amputation surgeries and spent a further two months in UCLH before starting physiotherapy in November 2022.
The 35-year-old now has a prosthetic leg and is able to walk, but is fundraising for a bionic arm so he can hug his children properly again and his GoFundMe already raised £10,000.
He said: "I arrived at the rehab centre on a stretcher as I was unable to move at all. Within two days they had me in a wheelchair - it was incredible.
"Every time I told the nurses there that I 'couldn't do it' they'd tell me that 'no wasn't an option'.
"It was the tough love that I needed, and after two weeks I saw a massive improvement in my strength.
"I kept thinking about my wife and kids and that kept me going."
Ahmed is now back at home in Ilford and praised wife Rabia for being his "rock" throughout the ordeal.
"Life is different," he added. "My teeth have become my 'left' forearm and I used my left armpit to use shampoo but I'm on the mend.
"Whilst it's going to take me some time to get back on my bike, I am hopeful that it'll be this year!
"If I can get my bionic arm, I'll be able to get back into the gym properly.
"I miss being active – it makes me the best version of myself for my wife and our kids."
"I can't wait to be able to hug them properly with my new arm and I've been so overwhelmed with the support so far with the fundraiser."