For triple amputee and mother of five Kristan Seaford, every day brings a new challenge – and, more often than not these days, a new victory.
“Yesterday I took a spin class for the first time,” Seaford, 39, says in an interview with PEOPLE NOW. “The day before, I was able to get my little daughter’s oatmeal all by myself. I was like ‘Wow, I did that today, I couldn’t do it yesterday.’ ”
A year ago, the avid runner and exercise instructor was getting ready to host 30 family members at her Charlotte, North Carolina, home for Thanksgiving. She came down with the flu and strep throat, which progressed to pneumonia and sepsis, a rare and potentially deadly complication.
Halfway through her three-month hospital stay, doctors told her husband, Brook, 39, that the only way to save her life from the raging infection was to perform multiple amputations. She lost both hands, her left leg and part of her right foot.
I still can’t believe that this all really happened,” Seaford tells PEOPLE NOW. “Every morning I wake up and I look down at my arms and I am told again, this really happened, it wasn’t a bad dream.
While the outgoing and optimistic Seaford says she’s counting her blessings this Thanksgiving, she says her new life has required an enormous adjustment. She now uses two robotic hands, a prosthetic leg and a prosthetic foot.
My everyday life is difficult to put it nicely,” she tells PEOPLE NOW. “Just getting my own breakfast, especially getting the kids breakfast, even that first step is hard.”
“Every little movement I make with my hands is a difficult mental and physical challenge. But the nice part about it is that every day I do something I was not able to do before.”
These days, Seaford is training for a 5K run with her daughter, Caroline, 8, and is back to teaching exercise classes at her gym.
“It brings me so much joy,” she says. “It makes me feel like myself. No one can complain in my class, that’s for sure!”
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