After suffering from a rare condition that left her an amputee, this young woman had an uphill battle to survive.
Callie Colwick is hands down one of the bravest women I have ever read about. This young warrior is a proud Jesus lover, a sepsis survivor, an amputee, a wife, and a mom. This beautiful spirit has chosen to use the platform on which she finds herself to help others. Combining her creativity with an entrepreneurial spirit, Callie is now a motivational speaker.
In December of 2016, while pregnant with her son Quinn, Callie went into septic shock. She lost her son, both legs below the knee and a few fingers. Here she is with her husband before this happened. This is the birth announcement for Quinn, who was in her belly at the time.
Callie, who is from McKinney, Texas, suffered from a rare condition called placenta accreta. According to the Mayo Clinic, placenta accreta is a serious pregnancy condition that occurs when the placenta grows too deeply into the uterine wall. Typically, the placenta detaches from the uterine wall after childbirth. With placenta accreta, part or all of the placenta remains attached. This can cause severe blood loss after delivery. At 15 weeks, Callie and her husband Kevin were told Quinn could be born at any time and that tragically he would not survive the birth. Callie was induced and gave birth to Quinn while unconscious. The baby was stillborn and weighed only half a pound. During her labour, Callie began to bleed heavily and her blood pressure dropped drastically low, a condition called septic shock.
"Ten fingers, ten toes. Perfectly formed and forever missed. Little Quinn was here too soon. I sure do miss my little boy. 💙" she wrote in a tribute on her Instagram. "The tiniest of feet can leave some of the biggest prints on your heart."
Making matters worse, Callie then developed deadly sepsis. Her kidneys and lungs shut down, she was placed on life support. Her family was told to prepare for the worst. What followed was a harrowing time in their lives. Callies doctors were left with no choice in the coming months, they had to amputate her lower legs, her left thumb, and her forefinger. Blood was no longer able to reach those limbs and they were no longer viable. Her insides were described as 'black and dead', her uterus was removed. She required skin grafts on her bottom due to the inability to get out of bed.
Her family did not lose hope and Callie kept fighting. After almost two years in the ICU and a rehabilitation hospital, she finally returned home to her husband and daughter in 2018.
Sadly, that was not the end of difficult times for her. Callie was refused prosthetics by her health insurance and struggled. The wheelchair she was sent home in was a basic chair off of Amazon. Her husband Kevin had to dress her wounds daily. She was not able to push herself in the bulky wheelchair she now relied on. In April 2019, Callie got some news she had been praying for. She was finally approved for prosthetics. Unfortunately, when she applied for a chair, she was again denied. 'It is just insane. I don't have feet and I can't put my prosthetics on by myself,' she said on Instagram.
In December of 2019, Callie got a message that changed her life. A stranger offered to help raise the funds to buy her the special chair she needed. Amy Bernhard was the angel who set up a GoFundMe campaign to help her.
'This woman has dealt with more adversity in 2 years than most experience in a lifetime' wrote Amy on the GoFundMe campaign. 'Through all of this, her faith and positive outlook remains unshakable. I know if we all come together and do a little, we can bless this woman and her family with her own custom wheelchair. I know God will open doors to make this possible!'
In just one day Amy helped raise a staggering $20,980 for Callie’s chair with the extra money going towards installing ramps in her home. The two women met in person for the first time on January 24 when Amy flew to Dallas for work.They bonded over a sushi dinner where Callie told Amy just how big a difference the baby pink chair had made to her life. Callie said: “I felt like I had known Amy my whole life.”
Callie credits her faith in God as what helped her get through this time. Her outlook on life is positive and her heart is grateful.
"I was 27 when this happened — no one expects a 27-year-old mom to die,” she added. “I truly feel like I am living on borrowed time now.”
What an incredible example she is to all of us as we encounter unexpected difficulties in life.