When Brenda M. woke up with flu-like symptoms in August 2007, she had no idea just how grave her condition was. Later in the day she noticed discoloration and severe pain in her right leg. By that afternoon, Brenda entered the emergency room where her health continued to decline. Doctors at Mayo Clinic worked incessantly to keep her alive through the night. She was diagnosed with an extremely rare blood infection and was given a 5 percent chance of survival.
Brenda began to improve with the help of medication. However, the infection had caused a great deal of damage to her right leg, and several months later, it was amputated below the knee. Though her road to recovery has been a long one, Brenda remains optimistic and eager to face the future. She is hoping to complete her skin graft treatments and begin the process of receiving a prosthetic in the upcoming year. Referring to this process, Brenda has adopted a motto for 2011: â€śNew year, new skin, new leg.â€ť