A mum-of-four who was bitten by her family dog fell critically ill and now faces losing her hands.
Michelle Ellis was left with a very small wound she thought little of when she was bitten by the family dog as she put the animal in its cage.
Over the next few days the Plymouth woman developed flu like symptoms however, which then led to sepsis.
When her lips, nose and hands turned black, Michelle was rushed to hospital where she was placed on dialysis and put into a coma.
Due to a lack of blood and oxygen, she now faces having to have both her hands removed.
Sister Melanie Ellis, who said Michelle suffered multiple organ failure and was sedated for two weeks, is fundraising to pay for prosthetics when the operation is complete.
She said:”Michelle’s organs began to shut down and she placed on life support, little did we know how close to death she was.
“At this point in time she’s been two weeks in intensive care fighting for her life, her kidneys are not working but her liver is improving.”
She added: “She is still unaware of the situation with her hands, they are waiting to see if she is strong enough to absorb this.”
Michelle, of Plymouth, Devon, was admitted to Derriford Hospital in mid-January.
Because of the pandemic and the fact she only woke up several days ago, only Melanie from her worried family has been able to visit her.
“Her kidneys are still not working and the extent of the damage caused is uncertain at this time,” Melanie said.
Her daughter Keana, 24, said: “We’re not allowed to go and visit her at the moment, which is making it a lot harder.
“The hardest thing is that we weren’t expecting this at all.”
She told Plymouth Herald that the dog, who has “always been a little bit funny”, left a tiny, “cigarette burn” sized mark on her mum.
The dog is due to be put to sleep.
When Melanie contacted a prosthetics firm she was told it would cost £32,000 for each hand, which will need to be replaced every five years.
The family has launched a £100,000 fundraiser and so far £2,000 has been donated.
Keana said: “The fundraiser is to help pay for her rehabilitation and any costs that will come along with that.
“Hopefully it will be a nice treat for her, and it will mean she won’t have any extra worries.
“Hopefully, she won’t have to worry about money for a little bit.”
It is expected Michelle will be moved to Mount Gould Hospital for rehabilitation.