An aspiring model has claimed she ended up having to have all four limbs amputated after contracting Legionnaires’ disease from a mist machine at a concert.
22-year-old Evelyn Davis said she went to a gig in June but just a few days later she became unwell, feeling extremely tired with a high temperature and fever.
She said she started feeling unwell three days after the concert, but having had an irregular body temperature beforehand, decided to wait it out and see if it went down.
The construction company admin assistant woke up the following day feeling even more unwell the next day and she was rushed to hospital.
She was diagnosed with sepsis and pneumonia, and said she fell into a coma for 16 days where she went into full organ failure.
Evelyn, of Tyler, Texas, also claimed to have had a series of ‘wild dreams’, including being on the beach eating fruit with the Kardashians, during this time.
Describing her journey to hospital, Evelyn said: “Within the first two hours of being transported [to another hospital], I got completely delirious. I had no idea what was happening and who anybody was.
“My mum told me that I told her that I was about to die. I was in a coma for 16 days.
“I had very wild dreams when I was in my coma. I dreamt that I was on the beach with the Kardashians and I was eating a bunch of fruit.”
She said she was given drugs in order to stabilise her blood pressure, which cut off blood supply to her hands and feet by the time she was taken off them 12 days later.
Evelyn explained: “They had me on vasopressors to stabilise my blood pressure but they draw all the circulation to your organs and take away blood flow and circulation to your extremities.
“I was on those for about 12 days so I’d lost all blood flow to my hands and feet by the time they were able to take me off them.
“Once I woke up, I felt that something was wrong with my limbs because they were completely black and cold but my brain was still very groggy, I really couldn’t process much.”
Around 10 days into her coma, doctors discovered Evelyn had Legionnaires’ disease. Due to the timing, they believe she likely contracted it from the mist machine at the music concert she went to.
She said: “[The doctors] said that I most likely contracted it from the concert that I was at because they had a mist machine and there was probably legionella bacteria in them.”
Evelyn ‘miraculously’ woke up on July 2, and remained on a ventilator for two more days.
Later that month, on July 20, she had both legs amputated below the knees, followed with her right arm above her wrist and left arm two inches below her elbow a week later.
“As soon as I got to the other hospital and my brain was more aware and I saw what my limbs looked like, I knew they were going to have to be amputated before anyone told me,” she said.
“I was in complete shock when they told me I just said ‘ok that’s fine’, my whole family was just distraught.
“They were crying and mourning the loss that I was going to have but I was in such shock that I really didn’t even know what to think.”
She continued: “It didn’t hit me until the day of the surgery and they wheeled me into the operating room and explained the procedure. When I woke up without them I though ‘ok, well, it is what it is.'”
She stayed in hospital for a month before being transferred to an inpatient rehab, where she stayed for three-and-a-half months.
She claims she was told by doctors she had a slim chance of ever walking again, and one doctor suggested she should be admitted to a nursing home.
However, determined Evelyn used those words as ammunition to prove people wrong. On September 22 she stood up and took her first steps.
She described it as an “unreal” moment, praising the rehabilitation therapists for their tireless work helping her.
Evelyn smashed her first goal of being able to stand in Christmas pictures, and is now looking to the future and becoming even more independent.
She said: “The doctors told my parents and husband that I wasn’t going to recover and if I did ever wake up, I’d have substantial organ damage, but I did and all my organs were ok.
“The team [at the hospital] told me that I was literally going to be a miracle, they worked so hard to get me to where I needed to be. One doctor said there was a pretty slim chance that I’d walk again.
“At another hospital, one doctor told me that I had ‘no potential’ and that I just ‘needed to be admitted into a nursing home and live my life there because there was nothing left for me’.
“Hearing the doctors say these things made me determined to prove them wrong. I’m very competitive, so to be told no or that I can’t, I almost always will show you that I can.
“With therapy, I started striving really quickly. [When I returned to the other] doctor [and he] saw me walk into the room after he’d pretty much given me a death sentence in a nursing home, he told me that I was doing great, and apologised for what he said.
“Taking those first steps was unreal, they told me that I may only be able to stand and not take any steps and I ended up walking 75ft. I shocked everybody.”
She explained that throughout the ordeal she has remained “joyful and hopeful”. However, she said: “About a month ago it really hit me hard and I realised everything that I’d lost and how my life is pretty difficult now.
“But about a week later I turned a corner and got back to my hopeful and joyful self. It’s just a part of me now.”
Evelyn’s routine now includes occupational and physical therapy twice a week, as well as occasional pool therapy. She has pin and lock leg prosthetics and two bebionic hands – which have 14 different hand patterns and are controlled by the muscle signal in the residual limb.
She has big hopes for the future – wanting to start driving school, become a disabled model and obtain a social work degree so she can become a patient advocate in the future.
“Physically everything has become more of a challenge,” she said, “even dressing myself is so hard because I don’t have normal balance or hands to pull up my pants, or even clasp my bra.
“I love figuring out a way and have gotten to the point where I dress myself every morning but it takes five minutes, when it used to take 30 seconds.
“I thought I’d lose people and friends but they all just constantly surrounded me. Everyone has been committed to make sure I’m not alone in this.
“I’d tell others that if you don’t feel right, don’t wait. If I would have gone [earlier] when I started feeling sick, my limbs may have possibly been saved.”