In November 2013, Alex Lewis, a man who prided himself on his good health, came down with what he thought was a cold. Because he was so healthy, he didn’t seek medical attention. Little did he know that he’d be in the hospital undergoing life-saving surgery just two weeks later.
“I contracted what I thought was a common cold and it turned into a flu which then lead to Strep A. We had no idea what that was at the time and then about two weeks later we found ourselves undergoing amputations. Arm off, legs off and then six months in hospital with facial disfigurement,” he explained on This Morning.
“I think if it was sort of July, we would sort of questioned it,” said Lewis’ now-wife, Lucy. “But because it was November it was just flu time. He was still eating, he was still going to meetings and doing some work and things. It was just basically man flu.”
But it wasn’t just a simple case of “man flu.” As it turns out, Lewis had a streptococcal infection that caused blood poisoning and organ failure. It nearly killed him. Ten days after his symptoms started, Lewis awoke from a coma. It only got worse from there.
To stop the infection spreading, doctors had no choice but to amputate both of his legs from the thigh, his left arm, a section of his face and later, his right arm. And by doing so, they saved Lewis’ life.
While his will never the same, thanks to the support from his family and his optimistic outlook, he was still able to find meaning and embrace his second chance.
Updating his supporters via his website, Alex now shares stories of challenges that he’s taken, such as kayaking in Greenland and skydiving. Learn more about this survivor’s story in the video below.