Launceston, Cornwall, UK- A mother lost her leg, went blind, caught an infection, had a double organ transplant and was involved in a horrific car crash - all because she tripped on a step.
Steffanie Wise, 35, only suffered slight pain after she caught her foot as she walked upstairs at work at a brewery in the summer of 2002. She was eight months pregnant at the time. As the pain persisted, she went to a doctor who said she had broken her ankle and referred her to a specialist.
The ankle became infected and was treated with antibiotics. She seemed to get better and went on to have her son Luke, now 10. But in February 2003 the infection developed into septicaemia - forcing her have her leg amputated below the knee.
Steffanie Wise says: 'The first thing I remember in hospital was waking up after they had opened up my leg and washed out my ankle. That's when my surgeon told me there wasn’t much else I could do apart from have it amputated. I wanted to get rid of the pain and illness, I am quite matter of fact, it was either keep the foot and die or lose it and not die. I had no option, I had to be OK for my six-month-old son as at the time, I was on my own.'
Just a week after her amputation the septicaemia spread and caused Stephanie to go blind.
Then, three years later in 2006, she was being treated for ulcerations on her stump when she suffered kidney failure and caught the superbug MRSA (Multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium responsible for several difficult-to-treat infections in humans).
Ms Wise was eventually released from hospital, but just six months later she was seriously injured in a horrific car smash while out on a trip with a social worker who helps look after her.
Ms Wise had to be cut from the wreckage and airlifted to hospital with shattered thigh bones.
She said: 'The engine was up on my knees and I split the side of my eye open. My back was badly bruised.
'I was pulled out of the car through the back door with my false leg mangled. I’d already had kidney failure so its function went down to 18%.’
Ms Wise spent eight weeks in hospital and was forced to have a metal plate fitted which failed - meaning she later had a knee transplant on her good leg.
Last year her ongoing medical problems saw her need a double organ transplant on her kidney and pancreas.
But every cloud has a silver lining: during her latest stay in hospital she met her fiancee Scott Poolton, and the couple are soon set to wed.
Ms Wise said: 'I wasn’t looking for a relationship, I was still in hospital. I proposed to him in February, it was a leap year and we know we don’t want to be with anyone else.'
Amazingly, despite the terrible run of events, she says actually feels lucky - to have found true love and still be alive:
Car valet Mr Poolton says: 'I have never known anyone like her, everything she has gone through and raising a kid on her own for ten years is unbelievable. I can’t wait for the wedding, it will be the happiest day of our lives.'