Mum loses half her stomach to flesh-eating bug after botched C-section

This Morning: Sue Cleaver says sepsis took ‘time’ to get over

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WARNING – DISTRESSING IMAGES: A mum “got the push to follow her dreams” after losing half of her stomach to sepsis and a flesh-eating bug after a horrific C-section. Doctors gave Amy Hiner just hours to live after she suffered sepsis and necrotising fasciitis after the procedure to deliver her second child Evie.

She did not have any memories of having given birth when she woke in recovery and the mother-of-two endured months of physical pain and mental anguish.

But the 40-year-old says surviving against the odds has given her “the push to follow my dreams”.

Her problems began when she developed a burning fever and a horrendous pain in her stomach five days after birth.

The Daily Mirror reports that doctors diagnosed a Strep A infection caused by “retained products” in her womb.

A specialist then recognised that the “bruises” on Ms Hiner’s lower stomach were patches of dead tissue.

It then became apparent that the Strep A infection had developed into sepsis, and then the potentially-fatal flesh-eating bug necrotising fasciitis.

She said the pain felt like “piranhas in my tummy” and was taken to the operating theatre to have the “retained products” removed and the deadly infected flesh cut away.

But her condition kept getting worse and the black patches were still on her stomach.

Given just hours to live she then had another operation, with surgeons cutting inches deep from her belly button to her bikini line in a desperate bid to save her life.

Ms Hiner suffered night tremors and nightmares in the immediate aftermath, and could not think of anything other than the trauma she had been through.

She spent months hiding away, crying and having panic attacks and was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and post-sepsis syndrome, leading her to begin three years of therapy.

Her wound also took nearly a year to heal, and she was told she didn’t qualify for funding for reconstructive plastic surgery.

Ms Hiner, from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, said: “I’ve been left horribly disfigured, with my belly slanting and scarred. It needs a full tummy tuck.

“And because of severed nerves, I feel like I’m being electrocuted if I lie on my right side.

“But my mental health was the hardest part. I hated myself. I couldn’t look in the mirror or shower without crying.”

But she has since made a full recovery and is even following her childhood dream of becoming an ice cream lady, while working as a model on the side.

After winning a modelling shoot in a competition on Facebook in December the photographer reportedly said she was a natural.

She says she started getting offers of work soon afterwards when she put the pictures on Instagram.

Since then, she has filmed a couple of music videos in Manchester and a fashion shoot in London.

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Ms Hiner says before she “wouldn’t have even dreamed of being a model” and “you’d never have got photos of me in lingerie”, with her still having moments of disbelief when she’s on her way to a shoot.

Her ice cream van business is going equally well.

She bought the vehicle in July 2021 with a settlement she won from the hospital and is planning to buy another this summer and a warm-food trailer, which she plans to use to fund the up-to-ten-grand tummy tuck through her business.

Ms Hiner said: “My ice cream business is really hard graft, but I get such a buzz from the smiles on peoples’ faces.

“You just have to have the confidence to be what you want to be.

“We all want to see more normal shapes and sizes in modelling. Girls need to know you don’t need to be anything – but yourself.

“We all have good and bad angles. It’s about getting the right shots. I found happiness by accepting that I’m good enough as I am.”

Reflecting on the unexpected changes in her outlook since her life-or-death experience, she added: “I realised you can lose everything in a heartbeat, and that gave me the push to follow my dreams. Maybe this is my happy ending.”

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