WAUWATOSA, Wis. - Health professionals may be focused on the pandemic, but flu season is right around the corner and one Wauwatosa woman is warning ignoring the flu can be a mistake.
It can be hard to find the silver lining when life takes an unexpected turn, but Samantha Tadych found a way to fight for a new happy ending.
"It's a beautiful day," Tadych said. "It's good. Life is good. Life is good."
The kindergarten teacher walked into the emergency room back in February and hours later, machines were keeping her alive.
"You wake up one day and you have to do things completely differently," she said.
Samantha's body was in multi-system organ failure, which her doctors believe was brought on by influenza.
"Never do you expect it to be life-altering," she said.
The team at Froedtert saved Samantha's heart and lungs, but the intense treatment caused gangrene to spread to her arms and legs.
"This one is Peggy, like peg leg, and this one is Frankenstein because it's gross," she said.
Humor has helped, this independent 29-year old has learned to navigate a new normal as a triple amputee.
Hope helps Samantha get through each day believing her left leg will recover.
"There is no guarantee. I'm living on a prayer," she said.
Samantha's road to recovery is far from over.
Family, friends and her boyfriend are leading the way.
Building this ramp so she could live at home instead of a re-hab center — and building up Samantha's confidence.
"You know everyone is pulling for me," she said.
to set her sights on standing on her own.
"My sister is getting married in a year, in October, my goal is to walk down the aisle. It might not be my wedding, but I'm going to walk down the aisle," she said.
It may be the first time in wedding history the bride is hoping to be upstaged.
Samantha will know more about her left leg when she returns to the doctor Monday.
In the meantime, experts say the best way to prevent the flu.. is to get a flu shot.
Samantha says don't wait.
If you'd like to donate to help with Samantha's recovery, visit her GoFundMe.