Ju Snell was plugging a laptop charger into the network when she felt a sharp pain shoot through her arm. There was an unbearable feeling that thousands of needles were digging into my left arm.
Then she started vomiting. It turned out that the outlet that Ju used was faulty — and the woman was severely electrocuted. For the next few months, her life was one of agony.
At first, the attention of doctors was focused on ensuring that the electric shock did not affect the work of the heart. They monitored Ju for twenty-four hours, but fortunately, they managed to avoid a heart attack. Despite this, the pain in her arm never went away, and after six weeks, the woman returned to the hospital.
“I constantly felt such pain, as if my hand was boiling in boiling oil — if it was warm, or lying in broken glass — if it was cold”
Upon re-hospitalization, Ju Snell was diagnosed with crbs (complex regional pain syndrome). This is a disease in which disproportionately severe pain appears in the injured limb. Then, on the affected area, dystrophic changes and edema develop, which lead to vegetative-trophic changes in the skin and tissues. In the later stages of crbs, the pain is constant and intense. The pain increases with the slightest movement, and the limb is deformed due to muscle atrophy.
“My arm has become thin due to lack of movement”
During the year, Ju underwent many procedures and 5 surgeries aimed at treating an electrocuted limb.
“The pain didn’t stop for the next 12 months, and I went to the hospital three or four times a week”
But as a result of the development of crbs and associated trophic changes in the tissues of the left hand, open wounds appeared on Ju’s palm. Through them, there was an infection with a bacterial infection, which led to sepsis.
“In March 2015, my hand became inflamed, I developed a high temperature and fever.”
Doctors desperately tried to save the limb, but the only solution in this situation was to amputate the affected part of the arm to stop the spread of sepsis. Ju agreed to the operation: her life was unbearable because of constant pain.
During the year before the amputation, the woman hardly left the house, completely lost her independence and could not work. 40-year-old Ju Snell (Northwich, Cheshire) mother of two children: 17-year-old Holly and 7-year-old Ella-Boo. Her daughters and husband Michael, 45, help her cope with the difficulties that have appeared in the life of a woman after the amputation of her hand.
The first time Ju woke up from the anesthesia after the operation, she was relieved — there was no pain. But when she had to face the realities of life as a person with an amputated limb, she began to feel that she had “lost” not only her arm, but also her identity.
“I suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and felt that my consciousness was shutting down in stressful situations. I have developed panic attacks. I was depressed for a year before I went to a psychiatrist who helped me deal with PTSD and other psychological issues. I am lucky that my family has supported me.”
Now Ju shares her story in social networks. She wants people to know more about what crbs and sepsis are.
Ju tells the other women: “You don’t need to be perfect: you can achieve the desired result in any situation!”
Five years after her amputation, Ju became a model for Models of Diversity — a modeling Agency that works with models with disabilities. Her photo adorns the cover of the 2020 calendar.
Angela Sinclair, MoD’s founder, said: “What struck us about Ju’s story was her incredibly positive attitude. She was in a terrible situation, but she was able to use it to inspire, motivate and challenge! She is undeniably beautiful inside as well as out, and that’s why she became our cover girl.”
Ju says: “The calendar shows that there are still opportunities for people with disabilities! If you are set up correctly, you can do anything.” In addition, Ju Snell is a motivational speaker and coach.
She travels the country, visits universities and businesses, gives advice and helps other people with disabilities to return to normal life in society.