Teen learns to walk again after losing limbs due to blood infection

Posted at 4:50 AM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 04:51:01-04

GERMANTOWN, Ill. - A 14-year-old Germantown, Illinois girl is slowly learning to walk again after losing her lower legs and fingers due to a blood infection.

Her progress is growing by leaps and bounds thanks to aquatic therapy at Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital.

"I love watching my body move the way it used to," said RaeAnne.

Last December, RaeAnne get a bacterial bloodstream infection that took over her body. She spent 106 days in the ICU.

"Our two-hour trip that we thought would be to a local ER turned out to be 8 months and a whole new normal for life," Nikki Toennies, RaeAnne's mother.

Ranken Jordan physical therapist Chris Gartner said her journey to this point has not been easy.

"Rae has a very complex condition due to her infection, not only did she lose both legs and fingers on both hands, it attacked her spinal cord. She is basically a quadriplegic, on top of being an amputee," said Gartner.

It has been a long road to recovery, but RaeAnne is proud of her progress and said she is determined to live a new normal.

Nikki said the water is working wonders.

"I see and I know everything still works and everything still moves, it's just giving it the time to move outside of the water," said Toennies.

Everyday RaeAnne is regaining strength and mobility and she has no intention of stopping here.

"I want to be able to run and play with my friends, I want to be able to hold things by myself, because right now mom has to brush my teeth for me and sitting down at the end of the lunch table where everybody can see me getting fed, is not fun," said RaeAnne.

RaeAnne has adapted well to her wheelchair, but she is hoping she will not have to be on wheels for long.

"Anything is possible for that girl at this point, it's going to be a long journey. It's going to take a lot of work, but I think she can do it," said Gartner.