Texas Woman Loses Hands and Feet After Going into Septic Shock Following Birth

Krystina Pacheco nearly lost her life after delivering her daughter Amelia by C-section and experiencing an extreme bodily response to infection

A Texas woman who nearly died after giving birth last fall has finally been able to go home to her now 4-month-old daughter and 2-year-old son.

Krystina Pacheco, 29, of Pleasanton, Texas, welcomed her daughter Amelia on Oct. 24, 2022, in what she told ABC News was an uneventful C-section delivery.

However, after returning home two days later, she began to feel feverish and experience shortness of breath and vomiting. Assuming these symptoms were related to her recovery, she was given ibuprofen by a nurse but continued to feel sick.

Pacheco visited a doctor, who had her dispatched to a local emergency room. From there, she was airlifted to a San Antonio hospital, which diagnosed her with septic shock — an extremely dangerous condition in which the body has an extreme response to infection.

"I just remember I couldn't breathe anymore and I couldn't see anymore and I just started slowly fading out," Pacheco told ABC News. "My husband, I could just hear him saying, 'Please come back to us, please, your babies need you. I need you. I need you to be here and help me with our babies,' and that's the last thing I remember."

The life-saving treatments and medication Pacheco was given to control the condition, unfortunately, cut off the circulation of blood to her hands and feet, resulting in the necessity to amputate them.

Krystina Pacheco

"My hands and feet were black. They looked like a person who had gotten frostbite," Pacheco told ABC, adding that her medical team had done everything possible to avoid getting to this point.

"I was just breaking down and being absolutely crushed," she said, of learning about the necessity for amputations. "And crying with my family, crying with Jacob, and just being sad that my life would no longer be the same."

Texas mother loses both hands and feet after giving birth

However, Pacheco kept moving forward, using the thought of her daughter and son Owen to give her strength through multiple surgeries. "They were my number one motivation, hands down."

In January, she was moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann, a rehabilitation center in Houston, where she tackled the hurdles of learning to live with her new reality.

"She's really, really strong. She's kicking rehab butt, for sure," said Pachecho's husband Jacob, speaking to ABC. "We're waiting for the healing process to happen on her legs, but her arms are doing really well, and hopefully we'll be starting the prosthetic training."

"It's a roller coaster, I'm not going to say I don't have my bad days, because I do," Pachecho told Houston's KHOU. "It's an emotional thing to experience."

In addition to mothering her children, she reports that she's made progress with little personal care things that most people take for granted.

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"I've gotten into putting on makeup by myself, I put my contacts in by myself," she shared with KHOU. "Brush my hair."

The Pachecho family did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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