29-year-old Kassidy Prestenbach is a wife and mother of three. She once spent her days filled with homework, errands, Little League and juggling a variety of tasks like all busy moms. She was a labor and delivery nurse at West Jefferson Hospital in Marrero, Louisiana. She dedicated her life to assisting others to welcome their miracles into the world. And on November 5, 2015, Prestenbach welcomed her own little miracle—a beautiful little girl to complete her family of five. She and her husband Timothy seemed to be living a dream. They had a healthy family and a life to be proud of.
Then one January morning, a little over two months after she had given birth, Prestenbach felt ill. Her middle child had been diagnosed with strep throat. Like most mothers, Prestenbach assumed she had caught something from him. She went to Urgent Care the morning of January 16, 2016. She told the doctor her concerns and was sent home with some medication. Prestenbach went home to rest and assumed she would be better in a few days.
The sequence of events that unfolded that evening would prove differently. Prestenbach made a phone call to her mother, an ER nurse in Oklahoma. Prestenbach could barely move and was in extreme pain. Her mother frantically made a phone call to a friend who lived near her daughter, urging her to take Prestenbach to the nearest ER. She was then rushed to the same hospital where she worked. Prestenbach was usually there to assist in miracles, but this time she was in dire need of one of her own. Her stats were dropping and no one was sure if she would pull through the night.
It was determined that Prestenbach’s body had suffered from Toxic Shock Syndrome. The cause was her IUD that had been implanted two days prior. Due to the severity of the Toxic Shock, Prestenbach spent months in CCU. She was not coherent for much of her time there. She was in and out of consciousness, and remembers little of the ordeal. There were moments where her husband and family were told that she might not survive. There were millions of prayers and more hope than anyone could ask for. Slowly Prestenbach started showing signs of improvement. She is a fighter and she was not going to let this beat her.
But her battle was not won without permanent and irrevocable damage. During her healing process, the Toxic Shock attacked so much of her body that there was no way to stop some of the effects. Prestenbach woke up and found herself an amputee. She lost both legs below the knee, all the fingers on her left hand, and all of the fingers on her right hand up to her knuckles. She woke up to a reality that she could not possibly have foreseen.
This vibrant, beautiful young woman woke up to a completely different world than the one in which she had fallen asleep. Prestenbach spent weeks in rehabilitation before she was finally allowed to go home. She was released from the hospital on April 14, 2016, three months after the night that changed her life forever. She went home nervous and apprehensive. She had missed out on three months with her children and was going home a little bit different.
Prestenbach has had many struggles since she left the hospital, the main one being getting the insurance to cover the prosthetics she needs to take control of her life again. She is determined to be independent and self-sufficient. She even feels that with the proper prosthetics, she could go back to work in the medical field and show others that all you need is strength and will power to overcome your deepest fears.
Prestenbach’s entire world changed due to a procedure that so many women use as their chosen form of birth control. It is a procedure most of us do not give a second thought. The IUD was not new to her and she had had no previous issues with them.
Despite everything, Prestenbach has now taken an inconceivable situation and is determined to make the best of it. She has hard days, which is understandable. Yet she has become an inspiration to so many through her strength and endurance. Prestenbach just wants what all moms want—the chance to enjoy every single minute of motherhood and to experience a full life. She wants to be able to dance with her children, brush her daughter’s hair, cook her family a meal and just be a regular mom. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, you will have no doubt that she will in fact do all of these things again. She will do whatever it takes to once again make all her dreams come true.
Editor's Update (Sep. 8, 2016): Due to legal matters no further information can be given at this time. Kassidy was diagnosed with Toxic Shock Syndrome due to an IUD. It is not a common occurrence, but it did happen in her situation.