Kim Steele: ‘I Am Going to Be OK’

A quadruple amputee is facing yet another health crisis — this time, it is acute myeloid leukemia — but she is determined to fight once again.

Kim Steele, of Georgia, woke up from a coma in 2016 to find that her hands and feet were gone. She had experienced a toxic reaction to a medication she started in May of that year; it caused her limbs to turn black, and she quickly developed sepsis — a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection damages its own tissues.

Kim Steele in the hospital after her hands and feet were amputated
Kim Steele in the hospital after her hands and feet were amputated

“When I first saw my hands when I woke up, I didn’t see my legs at first, they were just crumbled up. They were gone. I always went and had my nails done, my nails looked good, but my hands were black,” she told Atlanta, Ga.-based television station 11 Alive.
“I felt like I was helpless,” she added. “In my mind, I thought, ‘This is what my life is going to be like. I will always have to have somebody take care of me.’”

Doctors said that the only way to save her life was to amputate.

“I was devastated,” she said. “I cried every day. It was awful.”

But she did not give up; she was suffering from depression until she entered an inpatient rehabilitation program.

“That’s when I decided I was going to fight for my life, and I fought so hard,” she said. “They taught me how to do everything that I needed to know. And I walked out of there when I left.”

While Steele is now living independently, and thriving, she has just been hit with another life-altering health crisis: acute myeloid leukemia.

Kim’s Cancer Diagnosis
Being a quadruple amputee has allowed Steele to really focus on her health and listen to her body’s needs. So, when she began to feel “off” a few months ago, she decided to see her doctor, just in case.

Thankfully she did because she was diagnosed with early-stage acute myeloid leukemia. And she is ready to fight once again. She also said she credits what she went through as an amputee with being able to detect her cancer quickly.

“They said because we caught it early and were on top of it, that I am going to be OK,” she told the Atlanta television station. “And I know I will be — no matter what I am faced with.”